Sleep Apnea

To help understand sleep apnea, it’s important to understand the definition of apnea. Apnea is the Greek word meaning “want of breath.” There are three types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Central sleep apnea.
  • Mixed sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea is one of the most common forms of sleep apnea. It occurs when the airway becomes blocked, not allowing air to travel properly. Central sleep apnea arises when signals from the brain that normally tell you to breathe are absent. Mixed sleep apnea results when obstructive and central sleep apnea are combined. See video >>>

When sleep apnea develops, many parts of a person’s day-to-day life are affected from the lack of rest. The majority of the body’s ability to heal itself occurs when the body is sleeping. Without proper sleep, injuries and ailments may become more troublesome. The person suffering from sleep apnea may also feel more tired during the day than normal. The link between temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and sleep disorders is one that is commonly overlooked. Sleep position, breathing and other obstructions occurring during sleep may all be affected by a TMJ disorder.


What Role Does Snoring Play in detecting Sleep Apnea?

Snoring is more connected to our health than we realize. Snoring occurs when air is not able to move through the throat efficiently to the lungs. The sound is produced from the vibration of the soft palate and sides of the throat when air rushes against them. Causes of snoring may be attributed to allergies, a cold, structural issues in the mouth, nasal cavity and airway, or sleeping position.

Many people suffer from snoring, and feel it is normal. In the U.S. alone, around 50% of people snore. About 40% of adult men and 25% of adult women have experienced a snoring episode at some point in their life, or are habitual snorers. Aside from dry mouth and light sleep, snoring may lead to much more serious issues for those who suffer. Snoring is linked to a number of serious health problems, including depression, anxiety, and heart disease. It can also cause vibration against the major jugular veins in your neck and can bold plaque in those walls, leading to risk of stroke.

In addition, snoring may develop into sleep apnea and become more serious when a person stops breathing for at least 10 seconds at a time, 15 or more times in an hour. Breathing typically will resume with a gasp, body jerk, or a snort. When this happens, it is considered obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Snoring may exist with or without sleep apnea being present, but may still be the source of many health problems.


Symptoms of Sleep Apnea may include one or more of the following:

  • Snoring
  • Brain fog
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Anxiety
  • Stroke
  • High Blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Low blood oxygen level
  • Obesity
  • Impotence
  • Type II Diabetes
  • Arrhythmia
  • Congestive Heart Failure


How does Pinnacle Peak Family Dentistry Screen for Sleep Apnea?

Our office has received exceptional training in signs and symptoms of sleep apnea, including what to look for during examinations and visits.

Upon arriving to our office, we gather as much information as possible to see if you have a history of any of the ailments listed above. We also perform a screening process that allows us to ask about symptoms you may be having that seem “normal.”

If you currently suffer from any of the symptoms listed, please call our office right away, at 480-473-8920, to schedule a special Sleep Apnea consultation appointment for a comprehensive evaluation.