A Sleep Apnea Q and A

apnea1Did you know that many of today’s modern dentists can treat sleep disorders, particularly snoring and sleep apnea?  Millions of people suffer from sleep apnea all over the world, an estimated 22 million in the United States alone. What is sleep apnea? What are its symptoms? Is it dangerous? Can it be treated? Today we are going to answer these questions with a sleep apnea Q and A.

Q and A

Question: What is sleep apnea?
Answer:  Sleep Apnea is a potentially dangerous sleep disorder during which you experience periods of lapses in your breathing.
Question: What are breathing lapses?
Answer:  Breathing lapse are temporary suspensions of breathing while you sleep. You actually stop breathing for seconds, or sometimes a minute at a time. This can happen from one to several times a night.
Question: How dangerous is sleep apnea?
Answer:  Any suspension of breathing can be dangerous. Sleep apnea can lead to other serious health issues including diabetes, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, heart attack and stroke.
Question: Does sleep apnea present symptoms that I can be aware of?
Answer: Yes. A variety of symptoms are associated with sleep apnea including: loud, excessive snoring; frequent wakefulness; gasping, snorting, and choking during sleep. Daytime symptoms include, but are not limited to: lack of concentration, irritability, sleepiness, and falling asleep while driving.
Question: What causes sleep apnea?
Answer:  Sleep apnea can be caused by the obstruction of your airway due to soft palate. Your soft palate is the top fleshy part of your mouth in the back near your throat. If it is too thick and fleshy, when it relaxes it hangs down and vibrates (snoring) or it can completely block your breathing for seconds at a time (sleep apnea).
Question: How can dentists treat this condition?
Answer: Your dentist can prescribe one of two treatments: A somnomed appliance which is custom-fit to your mouth to reposition your jaw and tongue opening your airway; or a CPAP machine which delivers a steady flow of oxygen via a face mask.


Dr. Quinn Smith is a well-respected and highly experienced general, restorative, and family dentist in Grand Prairie, TX. He takes a patient-first approach that starts from the moment patients enter our Pecan Tree Dental office, and he offers a three-year guarantee on all dental work that he performs. Whether you and your family are new or returning patients, you can schedule a consultation or your next appointment with Dr. Smith by contacting us at (972) 262-5111.