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Introduction to Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea treatment

Sleep-related breathing disorders;

A sleep-related breathing disorder is a chronic disease caused by repeated upper airway collapse during sleep resulting in recurrent nighttime gasping for air, breaks in sleep, irregular rising and falling blood pressure, and increased fight-or-flight” response.

Sleep apnea falls under the category of sleep-disordered breathing. This can happen hundreds of times each night, making it hard to get the rest you need. Also a reduction in blood oxygen levels in the brain and organs.

What are the Sleep Apnea types?

Obstructive Sleep Apnea


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is when the upper airway becomes partially or completely blocked during sleep. During OSA, the sleeper awakens many times to breathe because the obstruction causes his or her chest muscles and diaphragm to work harder to open up the blocked airway and draw air into the lungs. The reduced oxygen intake associated with OSA can cause cardiovascular problems and may lead to other health issues.

Central Sleep Apnea

Central Apnea happens when the brain fails to send the right signals to your muscles to make you start breathing, so you stop breathing. (This type is less common.) “Sleep apnea may be noticed more by the bed partner than the sleeper,” says Dr. Lindner. “Your bed partner might notice that your breathing pauses or they are wheezing, having difficulty breathing like through a straw. Central sleep apnea is less commonly referred to as a sleep condition affecting less than 2% of individuals. CSA patients may experience stopped, slow or shallow airways during sleep, resulting in ill communication between the brain and the muscles involved in breathing patterns.

Complex Sleep Apnea

Complex Sleep Apnea is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. The American Sleep Apnea Association recommends a polysomnogram (PSG), a sleep study conducted overnight in a sleep lab for an accurate diagnosis. Complex Sleep Apnea is a central nervous system malfunction. It is a less common sleep disorder. Sometimes associated with chronic lung diseases.


Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects 40 million adults. The more common, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) accounts for 88-90% of the cases. Approximately 1 in 3 males and 1 in 5 females over 65 suffer from OSA.

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most widely diagnosed form of Sleep Apnea. It is defined as the partial or complete collapse of the airway obstructing the flow of air. Now, most people think that when you fall asleep, you no longer breathe. In reality, your body “gives up” breathing only in a minimal range of situations. One of those is when your throat muscles cannot sustain breathing while sleeping with an open throat and a jaw slightly opened more than 15 degrees.

The dangers of untreated sleep apnea

Many people know exercise is the best way to improve your cardiovascular function. But sleep has an impact on heart health. Undiagnosed sleep apnea can also cause a higher risk for cardiovascular disease. Is it scary? Often people don’t realize it’s a common problem.

Are you tired of being tired? If so, it’s time to call Dr. Lindner at Dental Sleep Medicine of Greenville or a health care provider and schedule a sleep study. You could have an undiagnosed form of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common form of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB). OSA is a dangerous condition that leads to high blood pressure, strokes, arrhythmias (erratic heartbeat), cardiomyopathy, heart failure, diabetes, obesity, and heart attacks. Two hundred million Americans are affected by sleep-disordered breathing. Excessive daytime sleepiness can lead to serious health consequences. Thousands have been successfully treated for sleep-disordered breathing, significantly improving their quality of life.

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

The doctor looks into an individual’s health status to identify sleep apnea. This could include asking your bed partner for a sign of sleep apnea such as snoring or gasping for breath while sleeping. Initial evaluations include a physical examination. Symptoms are usually diagnosed with sleep apnea using sleep studies. There is a choice of polysomnography (PSG) in the lab sleep center of the hospital. Testing using polysomnography enables researchers to measure physiological processes during sleep. The other option is a home sleep study which you do in your own home and bed. At Dental Sleep Medicine of Greenville, we dispense the Watchpat1 device, which links to the cloud via your phone app.

Tell me the symptoms of sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes your airway to close or become blocked during sleep. This can cause you to stop breathing for short periods, leading to fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and headaches. Symptoms of sleep apnea include:


  • Snoring: Loud snoring is a sign that you may have sleep apnea. Snoring can be loud and rhythmic, or it can be noisy but irregular.


  • Excessive daytime drowsiness: If you feel exhausted throughout the day, even after getting a good night’s rest, you may have sleep apnea. You should also see your doctor if you have trouble concentrating, have difficulty remembering things, or feel irritable during the day because of a lack of sleep.

    Wake to urinate

  • Waking up frequently at night: If you wake up several times throughout the night or early in the morning with a dry mouth or an uncomfortable feeling in your throat, then you may have sleep apnea.

    trouble breathing

  • -Trouble breathing during sleep. (You may wake up gasping for air or feel suffocating.) A choking or gasping sensation.

sore throat

  • -Wake up with a sore throat and hoarse voice. (Because your airway is being pressed shut as you sleep.)


  • -Trouble staying asleep at night due to snoring or tiredness in the morning. (These are signs of not getting enough oxygen while you sleep.)

  • -Excessive daytime sleepiness

  • -Irritability

  • -Depression

  • -Headaches and migraines

  • -High blood pressure

  • -Heart disease

  • Forgetfulness and confusion

  • Difficulty concentrating or focusing on tasks or conversations

  • Dizziness, fatigue, and lack of energy

The following are risk factors for sleep apnea:

A narrowed airway can be caused by obesity, enlarged tonsils, or adenoids.

Being male – Men are more likely than women to have sleep apnea because they tend to have larger necks, which can cause obstructions in their airways.

Being older – The prevalence of sleep apnea increases with age because of changes in anatomy (such as fat deposition in the neck) that make it easier for tissues in the throat to collapse during sleep.

Use of alcohol, sedatives, or tranquilizers – Some medications can worsen snoring or obstructive sleep apnea by relaxing your throat muscles and making them more likely to collapse during sleep.

Family history – If one or both parents have obstructive sleep apnea, there’s an increased likelihood that you will develop the condition as well.

-Nasal congestion or other breathing problems, such as a deviated septum or allergies

-Smoking cigarettes or other substances that increase the risk of developing this condition

How is weight control linked to sleep apnea?


Sleep apnea and obesity

As many as 70 million Americans have obstructive sleep apnea—a condition that causes your upper airway to collapse during sleep, interrupting your breathing and often disrupting your sleep. Obesity is a significant risk factor for sleep apnea, but there’s more to the picture than body size. Your sex and age are also important factors. Losing weight and controlling stress hormones with certain medications may help get a whole night’s sleep.

Studies show that men with a higher body mass index (BMI) are more likely to have sleep apnea than women with the same BMI. However, women tend to have more severe sleep apnea symptoms than men.

Women naturally have smaller airways, so they’re more likely to experience blockages during sleep. Men also tend to have thicker necks, which can help keep their airways open even if weight gain makes it harder for them to breathe at night.

Sleep Apnea in Children

A child with a BMI of 35 or higher is considered obese. Children with this level of obesity are at a much greater risk for developing obstructive sleep apneas than children who are not overweight or obese (about seven times greater). Sleep apnea can cause serious health issues in children and adults, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Sleep apnea is a severe condition that can lead to chronic health problems. It’s also frequently misdiagnosed as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a behavioral disorder. It’s estimated that up to 30% of children with ADHD have undiagnosed sleep apnea. But if you’re a parent whose child is experiencing difficulty concentrating and paying attention in school, you might have wondered whether or not they have sleep apnea.

Orthodontics is the movement of teeth

can help treat sleep apnea in children by correcting their jaw alignment and muscle function. This is because proper jaw expansion and alignment prevent the tongue from blocking the airway during sleep, which allows for uninterrupted breathing throughout the night. A study has shown that this treatment resulted in a better quality of life for patients suffering from sleep apnea and ADHD!

That’s why it’s essential to ensure your child gets tested for sleep apnea before starting any kind of ADHD or even after starting treatment if you suspect there might be an underlying problem.

Jaw repositioning surgery

Or retrognathic surgery is sometimes a good way of correcting osa.

The most common cause of snoring

Chest muscles work harder with a narrowed airway, which occurs when muscles in the throat relax and block the passage of air. This can be caused by being male, being older, using alcohol or sedatives, having a family history of snoring, or smoking. Snoring can also be caused by nasal congestion, excess weight around your neck, or having a large neck circumference (in men).

Snoring may also be caused by medical conditions like congestive heart failure or high blood pressure. Sleeping position supine will be challenging to keep the airway open. Treatment with oral appliances can help control breathing.

The most common treatment for sleep apnea

is CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. CPAP therapy requires patients to wear a mask while they sleep and breathe through it as they usually would. The mask delivers air pressure through a tube that connects to an air compressor, which is plugged into an electrical outlet.

The problem with this treatment is that many people find it uncomfortable or claustrophobic, and many masks leak, causing the patient to wake up frequently throughout the night. In addition, some patients don’t have access to electricity at home and can’t use CPAP therapy at all.

CPAP intolerance is a common problem for people with sleep apnea, who are often forced to choose between their health and comfort.

CPAP stands for “Continuous Positive Airway Pressure,” a treatment that uses a mask to deliver pressurized air into the nose and mouth to keep the airway open during sleep. Many people find that this treatment improves their ability to get quality rest, but others find it causes discomfort or makes them feel trapped.

What causes CPAP intolerance?

There are many reasons why someone might struggle with using CPAP. Some people are claustrophobic, which means they’re uncomfortable being enclosed by something like a mask.

Because of these issues, some people choose not to use CPAP treatment at all—and that’s okay! But if you do decide this treatment is proper for you, there are steps you can take before committing fully: Try out different kinds of masks until one fits well and feels comfortable for your

Mandibular advancement devices (MADs)


are a type of oral appliance that is used to treat sleep apnea. These appliances work by gently pulling the lower jaw forward, which helps open the airway and allows for easier breathing.

MADs are comfortable

—they are made of soft plastics or thermoplastic elastomer and can be customized to fit your mouth comfortably. They are easy to clean—you can simply run them through the dishwasher or use warm water and soap to clean them.

They do not require electricity—they work by opening and repositioning your lower jaw slightly forward when you wear them at night. This movement opens up your airway and keeps it open throughout the night, so you don’t experience sleep apnea symptoms such as snoring or gasping for air during sleep.

MADs are portable

—you can take them anywhere! Pack them into your bag before bedtime, and they’ll be ready when you get there! They’re affordable too—they come in many different styles and sizes, so there’s something for everyone!

Untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea can lead to early Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia.

The resulting lack of oxygen can cause damage to the brain.

The elderly are at particular risk for developing OSA, as they tend to have more medical problems that cause them to be more likely to experience an obstruction in their airways. In addition, older adults tend to have larger tonsils and adenoids, which may also contribute to OSA.

People with Alzheimer’s disease have an increased risk of OSA

Mostly the older population sees earlier signs of the disease like loss of short-term memory.

People with OSA are more likely than others to develop dementia later in life.

Because of this relationship between sleep disorders like OSA and Alzheimer’s disease, researchers have been looking into ways that we might be able to treat one problem by treating the other. The most promising research has focused on CPAP machines (continuous positive airway pressure), devices worn at night that deliver steady pressure into the upper airway through a mask over the nose or mouth. This helps keep it open so that breathing can occur generally during sleep—and may help prevent some aspects.

TMJ-TMD Specialist in Greenville

One theory is that the constant snoring and gasping for air that accompanies sleep apnea causes stress on the jaw muscles, eventually leading to inflammation and pain. Due to the brain forcing the jaw forward to get air. Another theory is that the constant pressure on the lungs caused by sleep apnea can cause acid reflux, which can contribute to tooth wear and decay which changes the bite.

Whatever the cause, if you have both sleep apnea and TMJ, it’s essential to be aware of this connection to address both problems at once.

Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is a condition that causes pain in the muscles and joints. It may also be associated with headaches, neck pain, tinnitus, and TMJ. It is caused by a tightness in the muscles of the jaw and face, which can cause them to spasm or become inflamed.

The TMJ is located at the joint where your jaw connects to your skull. When you grind your teeth together, it can cause excessive pressure on this joint, which can lead to TMD syndrome. This can lead to pain in your jaw or face that worsens when you chew or open your mouth wide. If your looking for a TMJ specialist in Greenville, call Dr. Leor Lindner

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep-related breathing disorder that involves a decrease or complete halt in airflow despite an ongoing effort to breathe. It occurs when the muscles relax during sleep, causing soft tissue in the back of the throat to collapse and block the upper airway. This leads to partial reductions (hypopneas) and complete pauses (apneas) in breathing that last at least 10 seconds during sleep. Most pauses last between 10 and 30 seconds, but some may persist for one minute or longer. This can lead to abrupt reductions in blood oxygen saturation, with oxygen levels falling as much as 40 percent or more in severe cases.

The brain responds to the lack of oxygen by alerting the body, causing a brief arousal from sleep that restores normal breathing. This pattern can occur hundreds of times in one night. The result is a fragmented quality of sleep that often produces an excessive level of daytime sleepiness. Most people with OSA snore loudly and frequently, with periods of silence when airflow is reduced or blocked. They then make choking, snorting, or gasping sounds when their airway reopens. A common measurement of sleep apnea is the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI). This is an average that represents the combined number of apneas and hypopneas that occur per hour of sleep.

US statistics show there is an epidemic of sleep apnea(SA) and disordered breathing today. 100 million Americans snore. 30% of the US population demonstrates disordered breathing.

It has been estimated that 20 million Americans suffer from moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and at least one person in five (65 million Americans) has mild OSA. The current medical healthcare system is failing to recognize and diagnose these problems.

The rate of motor vehicle accidents is seven times higher in patients with sleep apnea than in the average population.

This paves the way for a new age of dentistry “Integrative Dental Sleep Medicine”

  • Loud snoring
  • Episodes in which you stop breathing during sleep — which would be reported by another person
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Awakening with a dry mouth
  • Morning headache
  • Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia)
  • Difficulty paying attention while awake
  • Irritability
  • Libido loss
  • Weight gain (from increased insulin resistance and glucose tolerance)
  • High blood pressure
  • Reflux
  • Increased risk of being involved in a deadly motor vehicle accident
  • Increased risk of stroke
  • Sudden death
  • Heart attack
  • ADHD
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Mood changes
  • Disturbed sleep of bed partner
  • Excess weight. Obesity greatly increases the risk of sleep apnea. Fat deposits around your upper airway can obstruct your breathing.
  • Neck circumference. People with thicker necks might have narrower airways.
  • A narrowed airway. You might have inherited a narrow throat. Tonsils or adenoids also can enlarge and block the airway, particularly in children.
  • Being male. Men are two to three times more likely to have sleep apnea than are women. However, women increase their risk if they’re overweight, and their risk also appears to rise after menopause.
  • Being older. Sleep apnea occurs significantly more often in older adults.
  • Family history. Having family members with sleep apnea might increase your risk.
  • Use of alcohol, sedatives or tranquilizers. These substances relax the muscles in your throat, which can worsen obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Smoking. Smokers are three times more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea than are people who’ve never smoked. Smoking can increase the amount of inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway.
  • Nasal congestion. If you have difficulty breathing through your nose — whether from an anatomical problem or allergies — you’re more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Medical conditions. Congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease are some of the conditions that may increase the risk of obstructive sleep apnea. Polycystic ovary syndrome, hormonal disorders, prior stroke and chronic lung diseases such as asthma also can increase risk.