FAQ

Sleep Apnea

Who gets sleep apnea?
What should I do if I think I have sleep apnea?

TMD/TMJ

What is TMD and TMJ?
What are common causes of TMD/TMJ?
What are the symptoms of TMD/TMJ?
How can you find relief from TMJ symptoms?
What should I do at home to treat my TMD/TMJ?

Oral Appliance Therapy

How do I know if I am a candidate for an oral appliance?
How do I know which oral appliance is right for me?
How does the OA prevent snoring and OSA?
How successful is OAT (Oral Appliance Therapy)?
Does insurance cover the cost of OAT?
Are there any long term health consequences to snoring / obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?
What will Dr. Sosenko do if I need an oral appliance?
What are the side effects associated with Oral Appliance Therapy?
Are there people that aren’t good candidates for OAT?

Who gets sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs in all age groups and both sexes but is more common in men. At least 4% of middle-aged men and 2% of middle-aged women have sleep apnea with excessive daytime sleepiness. People most likely to develop sleep apnea include:

  • Those who snore loudly.
  • Are overweight.
  • Have high blood pressure.
  • Have a physical abnormality in the nose, throat\or other parts of the upper airway.
  • There is also some evidence for familial tendencies, suggesting a possible genetic basis.

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What should I do if I think I have sleep apnea?

Discuss your symptoms with your physician or Dr. Sosenko. If Dr. Sosenko suspects that you have OSA, she will refer you to a sleep specialist for a more definitive diagnosis using an overnight sleep test. After the results of the test are reviewed and a diagnosis is made, different treatment options are discussed.

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What is TMD and TMJ?

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD) represents the range of disorders caused when the chewing muscles, the teeth, and the temporomandibular joint do not work together correctly.

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What are common causes of TMD/TMJ?

Some common causes are braces, trauma, whiplash, stress, teeth grinding (also called bruxism), missing or sore teeth, and muscle abuse.

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What are the symptoms of TMD/TMJ?

The majority of the headaches and jaw pain most people experience are a direct symptom of TMD. Other symptoms include:

  • Neck pain and ringing in the ears
  • Tenderness of the jaw muscles
  • Clicking or popping sound in the jaw joint (TMJ)
  • Difficulty opening the mouth wide
  • Facial pain
  • Ringing in the ears sometimes coupled with a feeling that closely resembles being under water or up in the mountains
  • Headaches, migraines
  • Sinus pressure and lack of draining

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How can you find relief from TMJ symptoms?

We bring a unique, multidisciplinary approach to help patients find true relief from TMJ symptoms, all without drugs or surgery. We begin with massage therapy to relax muscles, Alpha-Stim microcurrent – low electrical currents that help reduce the lactic acid in muscles, Low-level laser therapy to help muscles relax, Ultrasound to break up scar tissue and computer evaluation of head/neck/biting forces.

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What should I do at home to treat my TMD/TMJ?

We offer our patients a complete home-care program that is specifically designed to reduce and manage pain and headaches.

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How do I know if I am a candidate for an oral appliance?

Your sleep specialist will evaluate your severity of your condition. If he/she feel that you are a good candidate for OAT, Dr. Sosenko will further evaluate your oral condition and discuss your treatment options.

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How do I know which oral appliance is right for me?

There are many types of oral appliances. Dr. Sosenko works with several of the most researched adjustable appliances and evaluates each individual’s condition and life style demands before choosing which type is best for him/her.

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How does the OA prevent snoring and OSA?

Oral appliances work in several ways:

  • By repositioning the lower jaw, tongue, soft palate and uvula.
  • By stabilizing the lower jaw and tongue.
  • By increasing the muscle tone of the tongue

Through the above actions, the tissues and tongue are prevented from collapsing in keeping the airway open and unobstructed. Since air flows freely into the lungs, the forced flow of air and vibrations of the tissue (known as snoring) do not occur.

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How successful is OAT (Oral Appliance Therapy)?

For mild obstructive sleep apnea, oral appliances have been found to be about 76% effective. For the treatment of snoring control, OA’s are over 90% effective.

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Does insurance cover the cost of OAT?

Most medical insurance policies will cover the OA when OSA is diagnosed. In the case of simple snoring, most policies do not currently pay for the OA. However, there is no question that for a snorer, the OA is the best investment he/she can make in his/her health and domestic tranquility.

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Are there any long term health consequences to snoring / obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

In patients with untreated sleep apnea, the lowering of blood oxygen level can contribute to the development of heart irregularities. In addition, blood pressure can be elevated due to the stress on the heart, and at least 33% of people with sleep apnea have high blood pressure. Because of the cardiovascular effects, sleep apnea is known to be a cause of sudden death during sleep, although this is an uncommon occurrence.

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What will Dr. Sosenko do if I need an oral appliance?

On your first visit, Dr. Sosenko will examine your teeth and mouth thoroughly and may confirm your oral health status with x-rays. If it is concluded that OAT is the best treatment option for you, dental impressions may be taken. These impressions are used by the laboratory to fabricate your custom made oral appliance. Once you have been wearing your appliance regularly and symptoms such as snoring or daytime sleepiness has been reduced, Dr. Sosenko will refer you back to your physician to determine how effective the appliance is for you. Regular recall visits to Dr. Sosenko are important to maintain or modify your oral appliance over time.

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What are the side effects associated with Oral Appliance Therapy?

Patients using oral appliance therapy may experience the following side effects:

  • Excessive salivation or dryness.
  • Morning soreness in the teeth or jaw muscles
  • Minor/moderate tooth movements .

Most of these side effects improve within a few weeks of regular use and some adjustments of the appliance. Periodic recall maintenance by Dr. Sosenko is important to track any potential side effects as tooth movements and to maintain / adjust the appliance. Patients with arthritis and chronic jaw joint dysfunction may have difficulty tolerating an OA.

Why worry about snoring? Isn’t it just an annoying, but normal, sleep habit?

No. Since it’s so common, most people assume it’s only a nuisance to the bed partner. However, besides being disruptive to close relationships, snoring is a sleep-breathing disorder and can lead to serious health problems.

See More about Health Consequences

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Are there people that aren’t good candidates for OAT?

It is always best to evaluate if you are a good candidate for OAT during your initial consultation with Dr. Sosenko. There are several conditions that may be contraindicated for OAT:

  • Central sleep apnea as opposed to obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Fibromyalgia and severe arthritis.
  • Poor dental health.
  • Chronic untreated TMJ symptoms.
  • Very obese individuals.
  • Limited jaw movements

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DENTAL SLEEP AND TMD CENTER OF ILLINOIS

1100 SHERMAN AVE., SUITE 103 | NAPERVILLE, IL | PHONE: 630.369.5508