Your Best Options for Defeating Your Snoring Problem

If you (and those around you) have long suffered with a snoring, but do not have an apnea problem, you’re probably looking for the best option to get rid of this problem once and for all. Let’s review your options.

  •  Weight loss

If you are found to have snoring and not have apnea, if you’re overweight, weight loss is a great place to start. Sometimes just 20 pounds difference can make a big difference in the world of snoring and apnea. That’s usually recommended at the beginning.

  •  Over-the-counter sleep aids

There are a lot of different types of over-the-counter sleep aids available, including breathe strips, back-avoiding devices, and different types of pillows. You might want to try something, especially if you’re not having apnea and you’re just snoring on your back. They train you to keep off your back.

  •  Retainers and mouth devices

Be very, very careful with devices like PureSleep and SnoreMender. I don’t recommend them at all. There’s lack of follow-up with those devices, and it’s pretty common to see changes in people’s bites, even speech, with using some of these appliances, because there’s really nobody to help guiding you as to the position and what to do to counteract these side effects. I know there are some physicians that are recommending them out there, but only for short periods of time.

  •  Professional oral appliances

Professional oral appliances are highly recommended for snoring, probably the best option. We urge you to seek somebody from the Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, preferably a Diplomate. Those are dentists that are trained more than just a couple classes. They’ve actually taken tests and have built a relationship with the medical community based on snoring and apnea treatment.

Usually their expertise is far different than the general practitioner or general dentist, just as the sleep physicians and the general practice physicians. Typically the amount taught in dental and medical school is pretty minor compared to people who seek training through these academies. That’s the Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, and preferably a Diplomate.

These appliances are custom-made, and it’s important to work with an office that can help you prevent some of the side effects that can develop with these jaw retainers.

  • Surgery

Surgery is still out there and recommended by some ear/nose/throat physicians, but for just the milder cases the results tend to be pretty short-lived.

  • Or you can do nothing. I know that that leaves some relationships strained, misery in some people, so I definitely don’t recommend doing nothing for primary snoring.

Now if you do have apnea with your snoring, your treatment options are different. You really want to consult with a certified snoring specialist to make sure you’re treating the right problem in the right way.

Visit our site at for additional free resources, or call 1-800-SNORING to either make an appointment at our office or get a referral to a certified specialist in your area.

Is Your Tooth Grinding Keeping You Awake at Night?

Tooth grinding at night, also known as Bruxism, is a very common sleep problem that affects up to 75% of adults at some point in their lives.  Fortunately, dentists regularly notice the signs of tooth wear and will prescribe their patients a nighttime mouth guard to effectively cover and protect your teeth and keep your teeth healthy for life.

While nighttime mouth guards are effective in protecting your teeth, they do no treat sleep apnea or snoring.  In fact, mouth guards can actually amplify your sleep apnea. Recent studies have found tooth grinding rarely occurs by itself. In fact, sleep apnea was found to have the greatest association with those who grind their teeth at night.[1]

How do you know if you have sleep apnea?  If you suffer from any of the following symptoms, you may have untreated sleep apnea.

  • Waking up after a full nights sleep unrefreshed, feeling tired
  • Dry mouth, sore throat and/or gastric reflux
  • Morning or evening headaches
  • Loud snoring
  • Waking up at night to urinate
  • Sweating while sleeping
  • Weight Gain
  • Short term memory problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Mood swings and relationship problems

Treating sleep apnea will make a tremendous improvement in the quality of your life.  There are several options available to people that grind their teeth and have sleep apnea. A CPAP or Oral Appliance Therapy are both effective treatment options. Consult with your physician to start treating your sleep apnea and make a difference in your life.

Dr. Lydia Sosenko, Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine

Founder of Dental Sleep and TMD Center of Illinois

[1] Sleep Med. 2002 Nov;3(6):513-5.

Too Tired for the Holidays? Too Tired for Life?

On Dec. 2, 2010, Dr. Sosenko first published this article in Glancer Magazine.  As our team at Dental Sleep and TMD Center of Illinois began setting up our office for the holidays, we remembered how many of our patients commented on being tired of the Holidays.  Here’s the recap:

The first question you need to answer is: How are you sleeping?

 Many individuals suffer from unexplained chronic fatigue symptoms including:

  • Chronic Sleepiness
  • Daytime Drowsiness
  • Depression
  • Poor Job Performance
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Morning Headaches
  • Nocturia

The other day a gentleman came in to my office with his sleep study. For over 5 years he had been subjected to unnecessary and inconclusive medical testing, he was finally asked by his physician if he slept well at night.  His answer? “Not really, I awaken frequently, and sometimes gasp for breath.” His physician recommended a sleep test.  The sleep test results were positive for moderate sleep apnea. He was prescribed a CPAP machine, and found his way to my office to be fitted for an oral appliance.

After years of suffering from symptoms of chronic fatigue, one test changed his life. A sleep test can change your life, too.

Untreated sleep apnea is a life-threatening medical condition which can cause high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, headaches and much more.  If you are snoring, or believe you may be suffering from sleep apnea, Please discuss your situation with your physician.

Dr. Sosenko is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine and the founder of Dental Sleep Medicine of Illinois.  She offers snoring and apnea patient’s relief through professional oral appliance device therapy. Visit for more information.

If you are a snoring sufferer, do you have obstructive sleep apnea?

During snoring muscles relax in the back of the throat narrowing the airway to a smaller opening.  As you breathe in your sleep, air is forced through this smaller opening causing vibrations known as snoring.

Although snoring may be harmless (benign snoring), it can also be a sign of a more serious medical condition which progresses from Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS) to Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA (OSA): During an apnea event

  • The muscles in the throat relax and the tongue is sucked against the throat blocking the airway.
  • The entire upper airway is blocked causing air flow to stop.
  • Air (and oxygen) cannot flow into the lungs.
  • When the oxygen level in the brain becomes low enough, the sleeper partially awakens, the obstruction in the throat clears, and the flow of air starts again – usually with a loud gasp or snort.
  • People with untreated apnea are generally not aware of the awakenings but only of being sleepy during the day.
  • Loud snoring, mixed with periods of silence (apnea), is typical but is not always present, especially in children.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a life threatening and life altering condition that causes a person to stop breathing repeatedly during sleep. The oxygen deprivation that results can trigger severe health problems. The restless sleep that also results from OSA affects the quality of life of individuals. The bed partner’s sleep can also be disrupted by his or her partner’s snoring, pauses in breathing and restless sleep.

Visit our website to learn more about the Health Consequences of untreated sleep apnea!

Dr. Sosenko’s, founder of Dental Sleep and TMD Center of Illinois in Naperville, helps snoring and sleep apnea sufferers treat their sleep disorders.  Visit her to learn more.

“Tongue Zapper” in the News as Aid for Snoring and Apnea

Recent headlines in the news have described a potential new treatment option for snoring and apnea sufferers. The excitement on this potential treatment option lies in the fact that 40-60% of patients that have prescribed the treatment of CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) do not use their machines.  Many more who have snoring symptoms without apnea are not using anything at all to control their snoring, often causing disturbances with their sleep partners.  Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person’s airway is blocked repeatedly throughout the night, from 5 to over 100 times per night. Left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can lead to life threatening conditions. Some of these include high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack and more.

This new “tongue-zapper” therapy is based on hypoglossal nerve stimulation.  With this treatment a small pacemaker like generator is implanted under the skin near the collarbone. A small wire leads to the hypoglossal nerve near the base of the tongue.  The relaxation of the tongue, jaw and associated muscles and tissues often lead to the airway blocks that occur during apnea.  As breathing is monitored by sensors, a signal is delivered to this nerve.  Signals include mild electrical currents that “zap” the tongue muscles preventing them from relaxing to the point of blocking the airway.

It’s important to realize that this type of therapy is experimental and although studies are scheduled, my research has found that only a handful of patients at most to date have been treated worldwide with this implant.  My clinical observation from working with apnea patients for the past 15 years  is  that although this therapy remains hopeful for some select patients, there are far more associated anatomical obstructions and considerations  of the airway in addition to the tongue muscles. In addition, medical reimbursement for experimental therapy remains almost impossible.

Patients looking for an alternative for CPAP therapy at this time would overwhelmingly  benefit from oral appliance therapy that has been developed,studied and researched for over 30 years. Oral appliance therapy remains the standard of care as an alternative for mild to moderate apnea and for those with severe who are not able to use CPAP therapy.


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