Tag : sleep medicine

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Risk factors for sleep apnea

Sleep Apnea diagram

In Texas, dentists and physicians can diagnose and treat obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when the tongue and muscles in the throat relax during sleepĀ and fall back against the throat. This can reduce the amount of oxygen delivered to the heart and brain. While these interruptions in breathing may be imperceptible to the individual, they also disrupt sleep, which means that daytime drowsiness is just one of myriad health problems associated with sleep apnea.

Risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea are staggeringly broad, and include:

  • being male;
  • excess weight;
  • smoking and/or alcohol use;
  • age (while even children can experience sleep apnea, incidence increases with age);
  • family history;
  • nasal congestion; and
  • neck size (risk of sleep apnea is higher in men with a neck circumference of 17 inches or more and in women with a neck circumference of 15 inches or more).

A second type of sleep apnea, known as central sleep apnea, occurs when breathing starts and stops repeatedly during sleep, not because of an obstruction in the airway but because the brain fails to send the signals to the muscles that control breathing. Dentists do not treat this type of sleep apnea.

If you think you may be at risk for obstructive sleep apnea, the Southlake team of DaVinci Dentistry is here to talk to you about sleep studies, diagnosis and treatment with a custom oral appliance. Our goal is to get you the sleep you need and deserve to live a healthy, beautiful life. We are only a phone call away: 817-251-9333.