Your Orthodontist may be Your Best bet for Sleep Apnea

When it comes to sleep apnea, your orthodontist may be your best line of defense. Sleep apnea disorder has the potential to cause you serious health problems over time if neglected. If you feel you may have sleep apnea, you should consult your doctor, but you can also consult Dr. Michael Stosich. An orthodontist, such as Dr. Michael Stosich at iDentity Orthodontics, has the training and resources to help those with sleep apnea. He can be the best place to start with questions regarding this age-old sleep disorder.

It takes a specially trained orthodontist like Dr. Stosich to help diagnose and treat sleep apnea. He has done extensive research with pediatric and adult craniofacial anomalies and has also dedicated years of research in soft and hard tissue biology (both of which can have a direct affect on sleep apnea). Dr. Stosich works in collaboration with a team of specialists at the University of Chicago. The team includes Faud Baroody, MD, ENT; Russell Reid, MD, Ph.D. Craniofacial and Plastic Surgery; Hari Bandla, MD, Sleep Medicine; and, of course, Michael Stosich, DMD, M.S., M.S., Orthodontist and Craniofacial Orthodontist.

Michael S. Stosich
Michael Stosich, D.M.D., M.S.
Orthodontist and craniofacial orthodontics
Hari Bandla
Hari Bandla, MD
Sleep medicine
Russell R. Reid
Russell Reid, MD
Plastic and craniofacial surgery

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Sleep apnea can be caused by many things, can affect people of all ages, and does affect more newborns and infants than currently known. It can be treated and even eliminated in most people. Sleep apnea is treated according to the type you have been diagnosed with. There are three types of sleep apnea: Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Central Sleep Apnea, and Mixed Sleep Apnea (a combination of Obstructive and Central Sleep Apneas).

The only way to determine which type you have is to have a professional diagnose it. Dr. Stosich is available to discuss this with you and point you in the right direction. He can also provide valuable information on the different types of sleep apnea, the proper treatment that can help your particular case, available treatment from CPAP to custom oral appliance, to surgery/orthodontics, or the use of an Upper Airway Stimulator.

The CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is used to treat most people with sleep apnea, but it is not always easily tolerated. It involves wearing a mask while you sleep to ensure you are receiving enough airflow, and may take numerous adjustments over time to get it right. It can also be loud and obtrusive to those sharing a room or bed.

Dental devices are custom-made to help keep the airway open in order to provide better airflow. Also, orthodontic braces can help to change the bite and rearrange the jaw to its proper position to help to open airways. As a specialist in this field, Dr. Stosich can help guide you in the right direction through consultation and treatment that will best work for you.

Surgery can be performed in the event that you have enlarged tonsils or adenoids; nasal surgery for certain conditions; craniofacial surgery and treatment (Dr. Stosich is a specialist in the field of craniofacial anomalies treatment); soft tissue removal at the palate or back of throat; and in cases where a CPAP is not tolerated, an implanted device known as an upper airway stimulator can be placed under the skin at the upper chest that uses a small pulse generator to help control your breathing.

There are also other areas where you can help yourself that Dr. Stosich and his collaborative team of experts can assist you with such as losing weight if you are obese, cessation of excessive alcohol use, and implementation of proper diet and exercise.

It is important to remember that sleep apnea can cause serious health problems from loss of sleep. It causes you to stop breathing numerous times during the night, thereby robbing your brain of oxygen. It can cause attention deficit disorder, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, depression, and headaches. If you feel you or a loved one has sleep apnea, it is best to consult with Dr. Michael Stosich. He will be happy to discuss this serious sleep disorder with you or a family member and will help to guide you in the right direction for immediate treatment.

About

A potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts

  • Very common, more than 3M US cases per year
  • Medically treatable by a doctor or an orthodontist
  • Chronic, can last for years

 

Symptoms

Sleep: episodes of no breathing, abnormal breathing pattern, insomnia, nightmares, excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, or sleep deprivation
Respiratory: shallow breathing, breathing through the mouth, or loud breathing
Also common: headache, dry throat, irritability, dry mouth, depression, weight gain, teeth grinding, sexual dysfunction, mood swings, or fatigue

Diagnosis & Types

Requires a medical diagnosis, Often requires lab tests or imaging. There are three types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Central Sleep Apnea
  • Mixed Sleep Apnea

 

Treatments

Lifestyle: Weight loss, Physical exercise
Devices: Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
Procedures: Tonsillectomy, Adenoidectomy, Palatoplasty
Other treatments: Airway management

Specialists

An orthodontist or a primary care provider (PCP): Prevents, diagnoses, and treats diseases.
Pulmonologist: Treats respiratory tract diseases.
Sleep medicine: Treats sleep disturbances and disorders.
Otolaryngologist: Treats ear, nose, and throat disorders.

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AUTHOR: Michael Stosich

Michael S. Stosich, DMD, MS, MS, is a specialist orthodontist for children and adults with subspecialty expertise in robotically assisted orthodontics. Dr. Stosich serves as the orthodontic director at the University of Chicago's cleft lip and palate clinic and craniofacial anomalies clinic, which treats complex pediatric craniofacial anomalies.