Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a debilitating condition in which a person’s breathing is interrupted continually during their sleep. This breathing disorder affects millions of adults, as well as children of all ages. It is thought to be hereditary, and those who have enlarged tonsils or adenoids run a higher risk of developing it over time.

OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea, but there are three kinds altogether. Central Sleep Apnea, in which the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which is caused by a blockage, and mixed apnea, which is a combination of the two.

Some people with sleep apnea have relatively moderate symptoms that they may simply outgrow. That being said, untreated sleep apnea can result in problems with growth, learning, and behaviour. In acute cases, it can cause health issues such as heart and lung problems, or high blood pressure.

Look for these symptoms if you think you might have sleep apnea:

  • Waking up with headaches, sleepiness, irritability, or hyperactivity.
  • Difficulty concentrating on tasks during the day.
  • Loud snoring, often with gasping, choking, and snorts.
  • Long pauses in breathing while sleeping (longer than two breath cycles).
  • Excessive sweating at night because of the strain of trying to breathe.
  • Other factors: obesity, exposure to tobacco smoke and low muscle tone.

If you have reason to believe that you may have sleep apnea, you can start by telling your doctor. They will ask you about your sleep habits and examine your upper airway. If they think that your weight or allergies may be causing the problem, you may be advised to deal with those conditions first. You could also be referred to a lung specialist, dentist, or sleep expert.

The test that is most often used to diagnose sleep apnea is called a polysomnogram. It monitors eye movement, breathing, brain waves, and blood oxygen levels, as well as snoring sounds during sleep. One type of polysomnography is a portable study that can be done at home, but it isn’t as accurate. The other method uses trained sleep specialists in a sleep lab with continuous observation.

New Treatment

The good news is that dental practitioners are now able to treat patients with DNA Appliances which alleviate sleep apnea in adults and children, and enable the body to naturally reduce snoring.


If you feel that you would like to talk to someone about symptoms and treatment of Sleep Apnea, you can contact our team of dental professionals here.