Sleep Apnea Treatment Timonium, MD

Sleep apnea, a sleep-related breathing disorder, can affect children and adults. The name “sleep apnea” comes from the main symptom, which is a repeated apnea, or cessation of normal breathing during sleep. Over time, this can lead to other health issues or create complications for patients with certain existing conditions. The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, OSA, and it affects roughly 10-30% of adults today. Awareness and testing are important to address symptoms and minimize the risk of other health problems.

Children with breathing issues often need different treatments than adults. You must consult with an experienced orthodontist as well. Dr. Izadi has treated many children over the past 30 years successfully and effectively with small and retrusive mandibles as well as narrow upper jaws (palates). We help with the modification of growth to advance the lower jaw and to expand the palate effectively to open the airways. These changes are skeletal (permanent) and not necessarily dental, therefore it has to be done while the patient is growing. It will also help reduce the chances of developing sleep apnea in later years.

Waiting for all primary teeth to fall out to consider an effective orthodontic and dentofacial treatment can have a detrimental impact on your child’s growth and development. Many children with these symptoms show improvement in concentration (such as Attention Deficit Disorder/ ADD), energy level, and attention in school, significantly enhancing their academic performances after the corrections. We check the patient’s tonsils and adenoids thoroughly. If they are enlarged due to allergies or other reasons, they will negatively affect and block the patient’s nasal breathing and may cause sleep apnea or snoring at night. Mouth-breathing can potentially change the shapes of both jaws, as well as the patient’s bite, while creating the adenoid or long-face look.

Dr. Izadi offers treatment for sleep apnea for both children and adults. He offers oral appliance therapy to treat the symptoms of sleep apnea for patients with mild to moderate conditions or those intolerant of the CPAP. Treating sleep disorders is important for overall health and wellness, no matter the age of the patient.

Key benefits of oral appliance therapy include:

  • Can improve symptoms of OSA, including daytime sleepiness and concentration issues.
  • Some people experience deeper sleep with fewer disruptions.
  • Can reduce or eliminate snoring.
  • Offers another option for people who can’t use a CPAP.
  • Is easy to take along when traveling.

oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea in baltimore md

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, occurs when the airway at the back of the throat becomes constricted or blocked. This is typically due to soft tissues collapsing into the airway. Although more common in adults, sleep apnea can affect children. Parents need to know the common signs of sleep apnea in children, which can often go unnoticed or mistaken for other developmental issues. The signs of a sleep disorder in a child can include:

  • Sluggishness or sleepiness, which could be mistaken for laziness in the classroom
  • Hyperactivity or problems focusing at school
  • Poor academic performance
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Daytime mouth breathing
  • An inward movement of the rib cage when inhaling
  • Sweating a lot at night
  • Heartburn
  • Unusual sleeping positions, like sleeping on their hands and knees or with the neck extended
  • Often moving their arms or legs during sleep
  • Loud snoring
  • Bedwetting

Dr. Izadi also works with adult patients needing oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea. Common symptoms of sleep apnea in adults can include:

  • Loud snoring.
  • Episodes in which you stop breathing during sleep — which would be reported by another person.
  • Gasping for air during sleep.
  • Awakening with a dry mouth.
  • Morning headache.
  • Difficulty staying asleep, known as insomnia.
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness, known as hypersomnia or fatigue.
  • Difficulty paying attention while awake.
  • Irritability.
  • Grinding of teeth throughout the night (bruxism).
  • Anxiety and depression (mainly in females)

If you or your child experience any of these symptoms or there are concerns about the quality of sleep, a diagnosis is the first step towards treatment. Dr. Izadi can work with your general physician or a local sleep medicine specialist to provide treatment based on the severity of your condition. Treating sleep apnea is designed to improve the quality of sleep by addressing airway function. Patient compliance with the recommended treatment will reduce symptoms and support overall health and wellness.

Treating Sleep Apnea: what is oral appliance therapy?

Dr. Izadi works with patients to prescribe the appropriate oral sleep appliance for their needs. Children and adults will have different needs, with children often having developmental concerns related to jaw structure. For patients with milder symptoms, lifestyle changes may be the foundation of treatment. These can include weight loss, cessation of smoking, or additional treatment for allergies or other conditions affecting sleep.

Oral appliance therapy can provide effective treatment for many patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea. There are different types of oral appliances, each having specific functions for addressing airway or oral health concerns. Dr. Izadi will evaluate your diagnosis, airway structure, and symptoms to make treatment recommendations. Your sleep appliance will be customized to your mouth and designed to address your symptoms to improve sleep and health. We will take impressions in our office to create your custom oral appliance. Although there are over-the-counter options for oral appliances, custom-designed and fitted appliances for sleep apnea have been proven to be far more effective.

The two appliances most effective for treating sleep apnea:

Mandibular advancement appliance: also known as a MAD appliance, this custom-fit sleep appliance is designed to push the lower jaw and the tongue forward, allowing the airway to remain more open for improved breathing. There are various design options for a MAD appliance, and Dr. Izadi will design it to fit your needs.

Tongue Stabilizing Devices: a TSD is an option for patients who can not utilize a MAD appliance due to other dental problems. This appliance pulls the tongue forward to open the airway using suction. A small bulb will hold the tongue in place during sleep.

Dr. Izadi will monitor your progress after you receive your appliance and may recommend a repeat sleep test to see if treatment is effective. It will take a bit to get used to your new appliance, with most patients reporting mild discomfort, gum irritation, dry mouth, and increased salivation as common side effects in the early weeks. These subside, and you will notice them less with continued use. Improved quality of sleep will also minimize these side effects.

If there are changes in the fit of your bite, Dr. Izadi will work with you to address the issue with a retainer. He often recommends the placement of a permanent retainer before you begin using a MAD.