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Sleep Apnea

Quality of Sleep

If you snore it is due to an airway obstruction in the nose, mouth, or throat. If you experience breathing pauses during sleep and do not breathe in the same manner as you do while you're awake, then there is a change in air exchange in your lungs that can have devastating effects on your health throughout your lifetime. Many people who participate in a sleep study are surprised to learn how poor the sleep quality really is.


What happens when your breathing is impaired while you sleep? Snoring and breathing pauses can cause arousal in the brain, preventing you from entering a deep sleep. This causes your body to become fatigued during the day. Also, poor sleep lowers the amount of oxygen that enters the bloodstream, causes changes in your breathing and heart rate. All of this has the devastating effect on your body's ability to rejuvenate and on your brain function.


The term hypoxic describes a condition in which your body or a region of your body is deprived of oxygen supply. If you're waking up several times at night, there is a chance that you are not getting enough oxygen and may become hypoxic at certain times of the night. Hypoxic situations can cause changes in the blood that releases or fail to release certain hormones that can control hunger, depth of sleep, and other important physiological processes.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Snoring is the number one symptom of sleep apnea, along with feeling tired after a full night sleep.


Many times, patients who snore have lived with the problem for many years without realizing that they may have sleep apnea. They sleep in a separate room from their partner due to loud snoring and restless sleep habits and struggle with fatigue throughout the day. If these sleep apnea symptoms sound familiar, you may also be experiencing the following:

  • Loud snoring teeth grinding bruxism

  • Waking up with a choking or gasping sensation

  • Fatigue during the day

  • Morning headaches

  • Forgetfulness and mood changes

  • Sleeping with the open mouth

  • Acid reflux (GERD)

  • Frequent urination during the night

  • Recurring awakenings or insomnia

  • Waking up with a sore or dry throat


The long-term health effects of sleep apnea go beyond insomnia and memory loss period snoring can result in sudden cardiac death, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Sleep Apnea Types

During sleep your brain instructs your muscles to keep breathing, but sleep apnea interrupts this healthy pattern. There are three types of sleep apnea.


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA):

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the brain sends the signal to your body to take a breath, but your body cannot due to an obstruction in your Airways. For most patients, the obstruction is caused by the soft tissues and the back of the mouth collapsing during sleep. With OSA, patients snore loudly, a restless, and have up to 30 breathing pauses per hour period it most frequently occurs in patients who have low muscle mass around the airway. Risk factors include obesity and smoking. OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea.


Central sleep apnea (CSA):

Central sleep apnea is a neurological disorder that occurs when respiratory control in the brain malfunctions. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain does not send the signal to your muscles to breathe, preventing you from breathing for periods of time at night. This increases the risk of a heart attack in some cases, patients have died in their sleep due to prolonged episodes.


Mixed sleep apnea (MSA):

Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of both OSA and CSA. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, it's likely that you will develop central sleep apnea over time if it is not treated. That's why it's so important to contact a sleep apnea dentist near you as soon as you show signs of having a sleep disorder.

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