If you notice that you never seem to be able to get a good night’s sleep, and/or your partner tells you that your snoring is keeping them up at night, then there is the possibility that you have a sleep disorder—most likely being sleep apnea.

This sleep disorder can be anywhere from annoying to life-threatening, so it’s important to understand what it is so you can determine if you may possibly have it—at which point, you can look at different treatment options with your doctor.


During sleep, the muscles supporting the soft tissue of the throat may collapse, partially cutting off your airway, thereby preventing adequate airflow to your lungs. This common form of sleep apnea, called obstructive sleep apnea, can cause tissue vibration, which causes snoring.

Sleep apnea can also be a result of a chemical imbalance or malfunction in the brain that prevents a signal from being sent to your lungs and diaphragm to take in the oxygen that you need.

You will stop breathing for a brief period of time and may wake up short of breath or even gasping for air. This less common type of sleep apnea is called central sleep apnea. Complex sleep apnea syndrome is a mixed form of sleep apnea involving both forms of sleep ailments mentioned above. It is paramount that this form is properly treated.


Sleep apnea may not just be a mild inconvenience to your partner—it may actually be dangerous or even life threatening. Here are some of the ways that it can negatively impact your health:

  • Heart problems. Lack of oxygen while sleeping can strain your cardiovascular system—increasing your risk of hypertension (high blood pressure). Therefore, it can also increase your chance of having a heart attack.
  • Fatigue. When you have sleep apnea, you may wake up multiple times a night during a very restless sleep. More than likely you will get out of bed in the morning feeling fatigued and your body and mind do not feel replenished. Restless sleep can make your mind foggy and decrease your attention span and concentration. A number of motor vehicle and on the job accidents occur do to poor sleep quality. Not to mention, this day time fatigue can make you moody, irritable and even depressed.
  • Diabetes. As odd as it may sound, this particular sleeping illness can actually lead to insulin resistance—which can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.

It is extremely important to seek consultation with your physician to treat your sleep disorder in order to reduce your risks of hypertension, fatigue, diabetes or other dangerous/life threatening conditions.

West Mobile Dental Care is conveniently located in Mobile, AL but proudly services Daphne, Prichard, Montrose, Fairhope, Tillman’s Corner and other neighboring communities.


While central sleep apnea is caused by a chemical disorder, obstructive sleep apnea may be occurring for a few different reasons. Luckily, with proper attention and treatment, you may be able to manage the condition in order to get a restful sleep.

Some of the causes of obstructive sleep apnea include:

    • Overweight or Obesity. Once a person gains enough weight, fat may begin to be deposited around the upper airways of the neck, impeding your ability to breathe. With proper diet and exercise this can be easily treated.
    • Smoking. Due to the inflammation and fluid retention from smoking, it may become difficult to breathe when you try to sleep. Smokers are three times more likely to develop sleep apnea. Not only will quitting smoking help with a variety of other health issues, but it will also help manage sleep disorder over time.
    • Age. Sometimes sleep apnea is a product of aging. If this is this case, then there aren’t lifestyle changes that can be made to resolve it and you should speak with your physician about treatment options.
    • Alcohol or Drugs. Sedatives, alcohol and/or tranquilizers can interfere with your ability to properly breathe, due to the muscles in your throat becoming too relaxed. If this is contributing to obstructive sleep apnea, you may need to cut back on—or quit—drinking.
    • Genetics. Due to being male, having a thick neck (large neck circumference) or possessing a family history of sleep disorders you may have a higher risk of developing sleep apnea. If this is the case, you will want to discuss various treatment options that may be prescribed by a doctor.

Understanding what causes sleep apnea may help you to determine if you have it and what may be the best way to manage it.


While you may understand that snoring or fatigue may be signs and indications of sleep apnea, it can often be difficult to determine if you have a sleep disorder without consultation with a physician. Your doctor may recommend a sleep study to determine how much oxygen is actually present in your blood while you sleep and how many times a night you are waking up due to poor oxygen circulation.


There are actually a few different treatment options for sleep apnea—the most well-known being a sleeping and snoring appliance. A CPAP is a sleeping and snoring appliance that helps to force air into your lungs while you sleep. This appliance is placed over the mouth and nose.

While this sleep and snoring appliance may be very effective, it is also very cumbersome and can make some patients feel claustrophobic. Another option is an oral snoring appliance that you can get from a dentist. This snoring appliance helps to reduce sleep apnea and snoring by pushing the lower jaw forward thereby opening your airway. More than likely you will need to have a sleep study and attempt the use of a CPAP prior fabricating a dental/oral sleep appliance.

Speak with your doctor today about if you can treat your apnea naturally or determine if a CPAP or dental snoring appliance can keep you safe and comfortable while you sleep.