Sleep Apnea

Addressing these situations with orthodontics can improve your airway and reduce the risk of sleep breathing disorders.


Sleep Apnea


Tossing and turning all night? We’ve all been there. You probably already know that you’re going to be tired, groggy and maybe a little grumpy the rest of the day.

But what if you don’t get good quality sleep every single night?

You’re probably going to be tired, out of it and moody day after day. Did you know that a lack of sleep also means you’re going to have a higher risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and even depression?

The Importance of Sleep

Sleep is one of the most critical functions of the body. Sleep is when our body and its tissues are repaired and restored. It’s also when hormones are regulated and memories are organized. Muscles are repaired during sleep, too.

These functions and processes all happen in sleep levels known as deep sleep and REM (rapid-eye-movement) sleep and are vital to your body functioning correctly. And when your body doesn’t sleep, it doesn’t work correctly, impacting your overall health and even your brain function.

That means you may technically be getting a “full night’s sleep,” because you have had several hours of sleep, but if your body doesn’t get the deep sleep and restoration you need, you may end up feeling feel poorly and, in some cases, struggling with illnesses and other serious effects.

The Impact of Poor Sleep

As we said, the consequences of not getting enough sleep include:

  • An increased risk of heart attack
  • Cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure, stroke and irregular heartbeat
  • An increased risk of developing cancer
  • A greater chance of developing diabetes or other metabolic disorders
  • Higher potential of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cognitive decline and memory loss
  • Mood disorders and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety
  • Obesity, unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight
  • Weakened immune system
  • An increased risk of getting in a motor vehicle accident due to driving while tired
  • Changes to libido

What Affects Sleep?

Many factors can prevent you from getting enough sleep, but for many people, their inability to get good quality sleep stems from the sleep breathing disorder obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA.

OSA is a sleep breathing disorder that causes repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep. These breathing interruptions can cause your body to wake up repeatedly throughout the night.

You may not realize this is happening, as your body may not fully wake up, but the stress caused by breathing interruptions can cause your body to panic and its organs, tissues and processes to go haywire.

The cause of breathing interruptions is frequently related to the upper airway muscles collapsing when the body is relaxed. When they collapse, they block air from getting through to your lungs. Another common cause of breathing interruptions during sleep is the tongue falling back to block the airway.

These breathing interruptions can last 10 seconds to more than a minute. Breathing generally restarts when your body goes into “fight or flight” mode, triggering your body to breathing again.

Mild OSA cases may see breathing interruptions just a few times a night, but in very severe cases, these interruptions can occur hundreds of times a night.

Who Is Affected by OSA?

Some statistics show that obstructive sleep apnea can develop in about 3 percent of individuals who are at a healthy, average weight. In comparison, 20 percent of those who are overweight or obese are affected.

In general, men are more affected by the condition than women, but the risk of sleep apnea increases for women after menopause.

Researchers believe that around 22 percent of Americans (adults and children) live with it OSA, but many are undiagnosed.

Undiagnosed sleep apnea is severe due to the health risks related to chronic and deadly illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes.

Also, not being treated for OSA can mean that you’re living with these conditions and maybe being treated for them, but the condition’s cause is not being treated, which is a vicious cycle of health problems.

The Signs of Sleep Apnea?

Most people think that snoring is the most significant OSA indicator, and while many people with the sleep breathing disorder do snore, it’s not the only sign of the condition. Other symptoms of OSA include:

  • Feeling tired all the time from sleep deprivation, daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, poor sleep patterns
  • Headaches or migraines, particularly in the morning
  • Tooth grinding/clenching
  • Difficulty losing weight, hungry all the time
  • Feeling anxious or experiencing mood swings
  • Low productivity at work or school, problems with concentration
  • Memory loss
  • Poor physical health

Are you seeing the signs of OSA or other sleep breathing disorders in yourself or your child? Are you looking for a better and more restorative and proper sleep? We can help. We offer patients several treatment options to manage their OSA and improve poor sleep quality.


NightLase® Laser Snoring Therapy is a non-surgical, non-invasive procedure designed to shrink the uvula, upper palate and tissues of the upper airway to prevent them from sagging or falling to block the airway. NightLase uses a laser to tighten these tissues, a process that can be completed in just a few appointments.

Sleep Appliances

Say “goodbye” to the claustrophobic and clunky CPAP machine. Sleep appliances are one of the easiest and most comfortable ways to keep you breathing at night. These devices work by opening your airway by positioning your lower jaw forward, moving your tongue into a better position and opening the airway.

Developmental Orthodontics

Most people are shocked to learn that their OSA can stem from under-developed or recessed jaws. Addressing these situations with orthodontics can improve your airway and reduce the risk of sleep breathing disorders.

Call us now to schedule a consultation.


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