Do I Have Sleep Apnea

For many patients, treating sleep apnea can improve their overall quality of life. The condition can be obtrusive and affect you in both your sleeping and waking hours. Sleep apnea may be treatable through dental care.
Solutions for sleep apnea are available at Apple Tree Dental Studio in Avondale and the surrounding area. Maintaining your dental health can also benefit your sleep. We may be able to help.

beard man sleeping

Understanding Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where patients have something blocking (or obstructing) part or all of their upper airway in their sleep, forcing the diaphragm and chest muscles to work harder to pull air into the lungs. This condition may cause the patient's breathing to become very shallow or even briefly stop altogether. Eventually, when the patient begins to breathe again, it will be accompanied by a loud gasp, snort, or body jerk.
Many patients are not aware that they have this condition and may think they are only suffering from inadequate sleep. Dentists may be able to recognize and treat the signs of sleep apnea, as these symptoms often take a toll on the mouth and jaw.


Sleep Apnea and Other Sleep Disorders

There are several different types of sleep disorders. Each falls into six different categories: insomnias, hypersomnias, sleep-related breathing disorders, circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders, parasomnias, and sleep movement disorders.


It's a type of sleep disorder where the patient is unable to fall or stay asleep.


It's a group of sleep disorders that cause a patient to feel excessively sleepy.


They consist of having undesirable experiences while falling asleep, sleeping, or waking up.

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea itself is a sleep-related breathing disorder where there is difficulty breathing during sleep.

Insomnia, sleep, mental health, disorder, mental illness, strees, times

Circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders

These disorders happen when the sleep times are out of alignment.

Narcolepsy, sleep, mental health, disorder, mental illness, night, paralysis

Sleep movement disorders

They happen when movement during or before sleep interferes with sleep.


Treating Sleep Apnea

Luckily, there are many different ways to treat sleep apnea, including oral appliances. Patients who are good candidates for oral appliances must have impressions of their teeth and return for a fitting during a later appointment. It may be necessary for patients to have another sleep test while wearing the device to ensure its efficacy. Further office visits may be required to make adjustments. These devices are unobtrusive and easy to travel with, as they do not require any electricity.
Other options include continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) machines and surgery. These are more involved treatments that may benefit those with more severe cases of sleep apnea. Apple Tree Dental Studio can help patients determine which treatment is right for them.


FAQ's About Sleep Apnea

man snoring and a woman covering her ears
  • Can I still travel if I have sleep apnea?

    Yes, you can still travel safely with sleep apnea. For best results, you should take your CPAP machine and other dental appliances with you—particularly on any trips that will take longer than one or two days.

  • Are there any risks associated with untreated sleep apnea?

    There is a direct correlation between sleep apnea and other health issues, like high blood pressure. Constantly waking up in the middle of the night puts stress on your body, causing the hormone systems to work overtime and increase blood pressure. The low oxygen and stress associated with sleep apnea are also related to heart disease.

  • Is snoring always a sign of sleep apnea?

    No. Snoring is very common. However, snoring that wakes you up in the middle of the night can be a sign of sleep apnea. Snoring associated with sleep apnea also tends to be deeper, louder, and more consistent. It may also be interrupted with gasps, choking, or pauses. Patients should see a doctor if they experience a combination of any of these symptoms.

  • How common is sleep apnea?

    The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that over 20 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. Furthermore, they estimate that as much as 80 percent of moderate and severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea are undiagnosed.

  • Can sleep apnea be cured?

    Unfortunately, no. However, there are many different ways you can minimize and manage the symptoms of sleep apnea.