Ten Facts About Sleep Apnea

Ongoing research in the dental field has brought to light useful information regarding our health. For instance, the oral-systemic connection indicating that our dental health, particularly bacteria from unhealthy gingival tissue, can affect our whole body. In addition, we’ve learned that our dentist can treat sleep apnea; something that at one time seemed unassociated with dentistry.  If you are feeling tired, and think it may be due to sleep apnea, or related to your dental health, visit your northwest, IN, dentist, Dr. Nicholas Cain, for a complete dental evaluation.

1.     Sleep Apnea is usually a chronic disorder that affects your sleep, the sleep of your partner, and other family members.

2.      Sleep apnea is the temporary suspension of breathing while you sleep. This can happen from one to several times a night. Anyone can develop sleep apnea, but people who suffer from seasonal allergies are at higher risk.

3.     Sleep Apnea is potentially dangerous to your health. It can lead to serious health issues including diabetes, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, heart attack and stroke. Because it prevents you from settling into a deep REM sleep you may experience, irritability, sleepiness, and be at risk for falling asleep while driving.

4.      Symptoms of sleep apnea include: loud and excessive snoring; frequent wakefulness; gasping, caused by lapses in breathing; snorting; and, choking during sleep.

5.      Sleep apnea can be caused by soft palate, the fleshy part at the top back of the mouth. If the palate is too soft or thick, it can obstruct your airway while sleeping.

6.      Your dentist can prescribe a mandibular advancement device (M.A.D.) to open your airway while sleeping, alleviating symptoms caused by sleep apnea.  The device a sports mouth guard. Designed to open the airway by positioning the lower jaw and tongue forward, it can help alleviate snoring and other symptoms caused by sleep apnea.

 7.      There are three types of sleep apnea, obstructive, central, and complex. Obstructive is caused by a relaxed palate blocking your airway when sleeping. Central sleep apnea is when your brain fails to tell your body to breath, and complex is a combination of both.

8.      Obstructive is the most common form of sleep apnea. Central accounts for only 20%.

9.      It is estimated that in the US alone, 22 million people suffer with some form of sleep apnea.

10.  Those with sleep apnea don’t often know it. It is usually brought to their attention by a loved one complaining of their loud snoring.


If you suspect that you, or a loved one, may have sleep apnea, Dr. Cain can evaluate your palate and recommend appropriate treatment.   As a native of northwest Indiana, Nicholas Cain, DDS, is dedicated to providing excellent general, preventive, cosmetic, and family dentistry services to the community that raised him. To schedule your next dental appointment, call Healthy Smiles today at 219-938-2637.