Causes of Sleep Apnea

Grove City Dentist Serving Columbus, Dublin, Hilliard, Ohio

Sleep apnea affects an estimated 12 million men, women, and children in the US and stems from a variety of causes with lifestyle and genetic origins. Many cases of sleep apnea go undiagnosed, but that does not mean that a solution cannot be found. If you suffer from periods of halted breathing during sleep, Dr. Raymond Sheridan will evaluate your condition closely, attempting to both pinpoint a cause and apply a treatment that will help you breathe normally once again.

Common Apnea Causes

When your body becomes dormant and enters into sleep phases, the muscles of the throat relax. In people with sleep apnea, these throat muscles may relax to an extreme degree, causing airway blockage and/or narrowing. Other conditions that may cause or contribute to sleep apnea include:

  • Thickening of the windpipe wall due to excess fat tissue (experienced in overweight or obese individuals)
  • Obstruction due to extreme tongue relaxation
  • Oversized or enlarged tonsils or adenoids
  • Small head or neck bone structure resulting in a minimized airway
  • Asthma
  • GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
  • Alcohol consumption and other substance abuse
  • Mouth breathing
  • Certain medications
  • Smoking

How Can Dr. Sheridan Help?

During an apnea episode, the throat muscles relax, the airway narrows, and breathing stops. Your brain alerts you of the lack of oxygen and you are jolted awake for a brief period.

By observing these sleeping and waking patterns, Dr. Sheridan and his team can work to identify a cause.

To lessen or eliminate the periods of stopped breathing, we will recommend a treatment or combination of treatments to target your specific issue. Sheridan Dental offers a variety of treatments for sleep apnea, including oral appliances, medication, and behavioral therapy. Our goal is to ensure you are breathing safely and regularly throughout the night with a healthy airflow.

Learn more about the condition of sleep apnea and how you can find relief from symptoms like fatigue and anxiety. Please contact Sheridan Dental today to set up your sleep apnea consultation.

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