Young woman sleepingSleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that affects millions of Americans. It is typically defined as the reduction of airflow while sleeping. Signs of sleep apnea include loud, frequent snoring, gasping for breath, and pauses of 10 seconds or more in a typical breathing pattern while sleeping.

Some risk factors for sleep apnea include:

  • Being overweight
  • Being over the age of 40
  • Large neck
  • Large tongue or tonsils
  • Small jaw bone

There are two types of sleep apnea. The first is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). This is the more common form of apnea and is caused by a blockage of the airway. This blockage usually occurs when the soft tissue in the throat collapses while sleeping. The second type is Central Sleep Apnea (CSA). This type of apnea occurs when the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe because of instability in the respiratory control center

When left untreated, sleep apnea can result in many serious health disorders. These include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure
  • Depression
  • Diabetes

Sleep apnea is a serious problem that should be treated immediately. Do you suffer from sleep apnea? If you do, our dental appliances at Northpointe Dental Care can help. Call our skilled dentist, Dr. Rathjen, today for more information on treating sleep apnea in Blaine, Minnesota.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea Self-Tests

Thornton Snoring Scale
Epworth Sleepiness Scale