Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which a person temporarily stops breathing while sleeping. This condition can lead to other serious health issues. Sleep apnea is caused by a blockage that restricts airflow through the throat. Most cases of this condition are caused when the muscles and soft tissues of the throat and mouth relax during sleep, causing the airway to become narrow. The airway can become so narrow that breathing is almost impossible.

There are several risk factors for sleep apnea. Certain factors, such as being overweight, can increase your chances of developing sleep apnea. Additionally, certain lifestyle factors, such as smoking, can also increase the risk. Sleep apnea can cause dry mouth, constant fatigue, and headaches.

Here are the most common symptoms of sleep apnea are:

Loud Snoring

Loud snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea. Snoring is usually caused by an obstruction of the airway, which can happen when the soft tissue of the palate relaxes at night. This obstruction causes air to move through the throat and vibrates the tissues, which causes the snoring sound.

Frequent Wake-Ups

Sleep apnea is most commonly associated with snoring. However, if you begin to frequently wake up gasping or choking, it could be a sign that your sleep apnea is getting worse.

Sleep apnea causes your airways to become blocked. The blockage may be partial, or it may be complete. As the air becomes trapped, your oxygen levels drop. Your body will wake itself up in order for you to get enough oxygen.

Morning Headaches

Many sleep apnea sufferers experience headaches in the morning, but if you’re experiencing recurring headaches, you might have sleep apnea. This disorder causes people to stop breathing during sleep, so repeatedly breathing throughout the night can lead to headaches.

Daytime Fatigue

Dentists often see patients who complain of excessive daytime fatigue, even if they get good sleep. This can be caused by a sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA causes you to stop breathing for brief moments during sleep, which prevents you from getting enough oxygen. You may wake up briefly, but most people with OSA don’t. Instead, they wake up feeling unrefreshed.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can result from untreated sleep apnea, or it can occur as a side effect of certain treatment methods. Although high blood pressure has many causes, it’s increasingly common among sleep apnea sufferers.

Sleep apnea treatment methods include oral appliances and surgery. Oral appliances work by repositioning the jaw, which opens up the airway and allows more oxygen to flow. Surgery may be recommended for extreme cases of sleep apnea. Both methods of treatment are safe and effective, but surgery carries a serious risk of complications.

Complications of oral appliance therapy include excessive salivation, jaw pain, and tooth damage. However, serious side effects from oral appliances are rare. The benefits of oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea far outweigh the risks.


Sleep apnea can really take its toll on your mental health. In fact, many sleep apnea sufferers are depressed. Sleep apnea and depression often go hand in hand.

Sleep apnea causes sleep deprivation. When you’re constantly waking up throughout the night, it can leave you feeling exhausted. This lack of sleep can take a toll on your mental health.

Trouble Breathing While Asleep

It is common for people with sleep apnea to snoring loudly. Snoring is often caused by nasal congestion. The congestion and vibrations from snoring can interfere with breathing, causing people to wake up repeatedly throughout the night.

Night Sweats

People who suffer from sleep apnea will often experience night sweats, which can lead to them waking up in the middle of the night.

The constant feeling of not being able to breathe can make it difficult to sleep through the night. Patients often wake themselves up in the middle of the night just so that they can breathe properly again.


Please schedule an appointment online or call us at (503) 581-2446 to consult with our dentist, Dr. Giruc, and we will be happy to assist you further.

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