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Sleep apnea occurs when breathing is interrupted during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage in the airway, usually when the back of the throat collapses to cover the air passage during sleep. Snoring is a less severe form of sleep apnea, but it can still damage the airways and lead to serious health complications. Thanks to advancements in dental care, treatment for sleep apnea can be as simple as a nightly “mouth guard” provided by your dentist.

Risk Factors

Sleep apnea affects certain groups of people disproportionally. Most likely candidates for sleep apnea fall into the following categories:

  • Male
  • Overweight
  • Over age 40
  • Have a large neck, tonsils, tongue, or jaw bones
  • Have genetic history of sleep apnea
  • Have GERD (a type of acid reflux)
  • Experience allergies, sinus problems, or a deviated septum

Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

The signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Observed episodes of stopped breathing during sleep
  • Difficulty concentrating during the day
  • Loud snoring
  • High blood pressure
  • Nighttime sweating
  • Morning headache
  • Abrupt awakenings accompanied by gasping or choking

Complications of Sleep Apnea

Snoring and sleep apnea may seem benign or even comical, but some complications that have serious consequences can arise. If you snore frequently or have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you may be at risk for:

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke, heart attack, heart failure, heart palpitations
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Increase in ADHD symptoms
  • Fatigue, difficulty focusing or staying awake during the day


Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center offers oral appliance therapy to help treat sleep apnea. Oral appliances are a treatment from dental professionals that are adjustable appliances worn in the mouth during sleep. The custom-made appliance maintains the lower jaw in a forward position. Sleep apnea can be reduced or even eliminated when these appliances are used correctly.

Compared to other types of sleep apnea treatment, oral appliances have the following advantages:

  • Comfortable
  • Quiet
  • Easy to wear
  • Portable
  • Easy to take care of

For certain patients, oral appliances can be an effective alternative to CPAP pressure therapy.

What To Expect

Before starting you on sleep apnea treatment, our sleep dentist will likely recommend that you take an at-home sleep apnea test such as the Apnea Risk Evaluation System. This patient-friendly home test device allows you to test your sleep from the comfort of your home. If the test results indicate that you have sleep apnea, it is recommended that you seek treatment.

While home treatments like losing weight, sleeping on your side at night, and avoiding alcohol and tobacco can decrease your risk for complications due to sleep apnea, most dentists recommend a dental sleep aid to ensure a safe and quality night’s sleep.

Contact Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center today!

Be proud of your smile.