Sleep Apnea FAQ

sleep apnea faq

San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA

Sleep apnea is serious business. One of the most well known and most severe ailments in the family of sleep breathing disorders, the consequences of sleep apnea can go far beyond merely affecting your ability to get proper rest.

Here are some frequently asked questions about sleep apnea, its diagnosis, and its treatment.

What happens during sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when the airway becomes blocked during sleep. These blockages can be partial or complete, restricting the supply of air, and disrupting the sleep cycle.

A patient with an advanced case of sleep apnea may experience these blockages hundreds of times during a given night.

What causes a case of sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs from a collapse of soft tissue into the airway or already having a small or narrow airway. A narrow airway can be caused by such behavior as habitually breathing through the mouth, or having a large tongue and/or tonsils.

More than 15 million people living in America currently suffer from sleep apnea, including children. Men are more likely to become sleep apnea patients than women. Other contributing factors include obesity, high blood pressure, and even heredity.

How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

A sleep apnea dentist has unique, additional training to evaluate your mouth and airway for any possible problems that may be causing a sleep breathing disorder. We work with your sleep physician to help with these issues.

What are my treatment options for sleep apnea?

Oral appliance therapy has proven to be a non-invasive and successful way to treat sleep apnea if appropriate. We can fabricate an oral appliance that is custom made to be a comfortable and effective fit in your mouth. The purpose of the oral appliance is to help maintain an open airway while the patient sleeps.

If you do have sleep apnea, be sure to seek treatment. This disorder only will be resolved with professional care.

Left untreated, sleep apnea can increase your risk factor for an assortment of chronic and even life-threatening health issues:

  • High blood pressure or stroke
  • Cardiac disease
  • Cognitive decline
  • Depression

Contact the Glen Park Dental office at (415) 585-1500 to schedule an appointment.

Glen Park Dental provides comprehensive, compassionate, quality oral health care for patients in the areas of San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, California.