Tag Archives: Sleep Apnea

What Happens with Untreated Sleep Apnea

Untreated sleep apnea can cause some serious health problems including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and more.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that even when treated can have some negative side effects. 

3 Types of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is very common, especially among overweight males over 40 years of age. In all forms of the disorder, breathing stops and starts repeatedly during sleep. There are three types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common form of the disorder. It occurs when the throat muscles relax and collapse during sleep, blocking the airway.
  • Central Sleep Apnea is much less common, and is usually a sign of other health problems. This occurs when the brain fails to send the proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
  • Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome is extremely rare. This is when a patient suffers from both Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Central Sleep Apnea.

Signs of Sleep Apnea

The most common signs that you might have sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Stopping breathing repeatedly during sleep
  • Waking up with a morning headache or a dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Irritability

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should speak with a doctor right away. Early treatment is key to keeping sleep apnea under control.

Problems with Sleep Apnea

There are some serious health issues that can arise with untreated sleep apnea. These include:

  • High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease — When sleep is regularly disrupted, patients can suffer from high blood pressure and heart disease. In fact, people with Obstructive Sleep Apnea are more likely than the average person to suffer from a heart attack.

The heart problems that arise from sleep apnea are due to the sudden drops in blood oxygen level. When breathing stops during sleep, it’s like your heart is suffocating. The blood oxygen level drops low and then back up again once breathing resumes. This puts a serious strain on the cardiovascular system and can lead to extensive heart problems, especially when left untreated over time.

  • Type 2 Diabetes — Sleep apnea is often linked to obesity, and the symptoms can go hand-in-hand. LIke obesity, people with untreated sleep apnea have a higher than average chance of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. 


  • Metabolic Syndrome — Metabolic Syndrome is a disorder that includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, increased circumference around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels. When untreated, sleep apnea can cause metabolic syndrome which is also linked to heart disease.


  • Complications with Medical Procedures — When patients with sleep apnea are sedated lying on their backs for medical procedures, some serious complications can occur. If you have sleep apnea and are undergoing surgery, you should let your doctor know ahead of time.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here

At Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah, we are committed to helping our patients live their best lives. If you are suffering from the effects of untreated sleep apnea, our highly trained team will work with you to create a plan to get you back to a good night’s sleep. This plan might include jaw surgery, and if it does our board-certified oral surgeons will take excellent care of you. We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele, Utah. Contact us today for your free consultation!

Oral Health: What Happens with Untreated Sleep Apnea

Does Weight Affect Your Chances of Developing Sleep Apnea?

When it comes to weight and developing sleep apnea, it’s like a vicious cycle. Sadly, excess weight can cause sleep apnea.

Likewise, the disrupted sleep caused by sleep apnea can lead to weight gain.

Signs of Sleep Apnea

If you’re experiencing any or all of the following symptoms, there’s a chance you might be developing sleep apnea:

  • Extreme and continual daytime sleepiness
  • Loud snoring
  • Morning headaches
  • Periods of interrupted nighttime breathing
  • Abrupt nighttime waking while gasping or choking
  • High blood pressure
  • Mood changes, depression or difficulty concentrating

The Link Between Weight and Sleep Apnea

Though there are several other health conditions that can cause Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), it is most common in people who are overweight or obese. In fact, as many as 45% of obese adults may suffer from OSA. Excess weight on a person can contribute to sleep apnea in several ways:

  • Blocked airway – excess weight can create fat deposits in a person’s neck, called pharyngeal fat. During sleep, when the airway is relaxed, these fat deposits can block the upper airway making it difficult for air to pass through. Ergo: snoring.
  • Decreased lung volume – when a person carries extra weight around their abdomen, the chest wall may be compressed when laying down and lead to a decrease in lung capacity and air volume. Lower lung capacity = less airflow. Less airflow = interrupted breathing.
  • Increased pressure – throughout the body, excess weight increases the pressure on the airways and leads to problems breathing, particularly when the person is most relaxed and laying flat, hence SLEEP apnea. When the body is upright, the weight doesn’t impact the airways nearly as it does during sleep.

Can Weight Loss Cure Sleep Apnea?

While gaining wait can cause sleep apnea, weight loss can significantly improve and even eliminate the symptoms of sleep apnea altogether. Working toward a healthy body weight can eliminate pharyngeal fat and increase lung capacity and airflow, as well as improving your overall quality of life.

Although losing weight may help with symptoms of sleep apnea, some of the causes of sleep apnea might be out of your control. Sometimes oral surgeries or devices like a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine may be required to help get you back to your most restful beauty sleep.

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Can Help

If you think you might be developing sleep apnea, consult with an oral surgeon to determine if you have an oral condition that requires surgery. At Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah, our board-certified oral surgeons specialize in tooth extraction, dental implant insertion, corrective jaw surgery, and more. We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele, Utah. Schedule your free consultation today.

Does Weight Affect Your Chances of Developing Sleep Apnea

Is There a Surgery for Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a disruption that can have adverse consequences on your health. Generally, this condition causes a person’s breathing to stop while they sleep periodically. When you’re unable to breathe, your body will wake up mid-sleep, causing you to have poor sleep. 

If you suspect you have this condition, you should treat it before it deteriorates your health. Find out more about the different treatment options below.

Surgical Treatment for Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea increases your risk of developing high blood pressure, metabolic problems, and other health issues if left untreated. Fortunately, there are several surgical options available to treat this condition, depending on the severity of your sleep apnea and overall health. 

Read on to learn about these surgical options to determine which is best for you. 

Genioglossus Advancement Surgery

Genioglossus advancement surgery involves your surgeon tightening the tendons in front of your tongue. However, surgeons rarely perform this procedure alone, and they typically do it alongside other ones. This surgery can prevent your tongue from rolling back and interfering with your breathing. 

Maxillomandibular Advancement Surgery

Maxillomandibular advancement surgery, also known as corrective jaw surgery, can be an effective solution for sleep apnea. During this procedure, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon will reposition the upper and lower jawbones to relieve airway obstruction. Furthermore, this procedure suspends the attached pharyngeal airway muscles while simultaneously increasing pharyngeal soft tissue tendon.  

Some professionals believe this surgery should be reserved for craniofacial dysmorphism; however, patients with regular osseous structures are usually good candidates and have similar successful outcomes. 

Lingual Tonsillectomy Surgery

In a lingual tonsillectomy procedure, your surgeon will remove your tonsils and tonsillar tissue near your tongue’s back. You may need to undergo this procedure to open up the lower part of your throat for more natural breathing.  

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty Surgery

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty surgery is one of the most common procedures for treating sleep apnea, but it may not be effective for everyone. This surgery involves your surgeon removing extra tissue from the top of your throat and back of your mouth. Your surgeon will only recommend this procedure if you’re ineligible to use a CPAP machine. Additionally, this procedure is most effective in treating snoring problems.  

Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulator Surgery

Hypoglossal nerve stimulator surgery involves attaching an electrode to the primary nerve that controls your tongue, called the hypoglossal nerve. Your surgeon will connect the electrode to a device that’s similar to a pacemaker. When you can’t breathe during your sleep, this machine will stimulate your tongue’s muscles, preventing them from blocking your airway. If you have a higher body mass index, we recommend avoiding this surgery because you may not achieve successful results. 

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Can Help

It’s no secret that sleep apnea can deteriorate your health and overall quality of life. At Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah, our board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons specialize in corrective jaw surgery, which can relieve airway obstruction. 

Our team can determine if you’re a good candidate for this procedure. You can count on us to provide you with the superior service you deserve from an oral surgeon. We have offices in South Jordan, Cottonwood Heights, and Tooele. Schedule your free consultation today

Is There a Surgery for Sleep Apnea?

What Aggravates Sleep Apnea?

Do you snore loudly or feel exhausted after getting a good night’s rest? It might be time to discuss symptoms of sleep apnea with a doctor. Over 18 million adults in the U.S. have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in the U.S., according to the National Sleep Foundation. For most individuals who suffer from sleep-disordered breathing, their sleep apnea may go undiagnosed. 

Discover why sleep apnea can be dangerous. 

The Dangers of Sleep Apnea

Untreated sleep apnea can result in high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, obesity, memory loss, parasomnias, and insulin resistance. Furthermore, there’s a link between severe sleep apnea, drops in oxygen blood levels, and premature death. If you suspect this disorder, you should consult with your doctor to obtain a diagnosis so that you can prevent further complications.

Learn more about aggravating factors that can impact OSA in today’s blog.

Sleeping the Wrong Way

Although there is no “right” way to sleep, individuals with OSA must avoid sleeping in certain positions. A sleep exam might reveal that sleeping on your back leads to increased disrupted breathing. Individuals who sleep this way run the risk of experiencing collapsed soft tissues in their airways, which can block the passage of air. For some people, the use of positional therapy to stay asleep on their sides can be helpful. 

Consuming Too Much Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol can negatively impact your sleep if you have OSA. Although this substance might make you feel sleepy, it can lead to insomnia as it exits your system. Additionally, if you mix alcohol with muscle relaxants, it can make your upper airways more collapsible. Fortunately, you can control this risk factor. It’s best to avoid drinking before bedtime. 

Gaining Weight

Gaining weight to the point of becoming overweight or obese may have a significant impact on your sleep apnea. If your airways are already narrow, the deposition of fat at your tongue’s base and along the airway can worsen your condition. Losing weight can help reduce your snoring and sleep apnea. Your doctor can help you develop a diet and exercise plan to help you safely lose weight. 


Aging can worsen an individual’s sleep apnea, but this factor is out of one’s control. Since you lose muscle tone in your arms and legs, you also lose definition within your airway; this can compromise its ability to stay open. On the bright side, the incidence of this condition typically levels off at around age 65.

How Can I Reduce the Risks?

Although you can reduce several of the risks that aggravate sleep apnea, some are out of your control. Discuss the risks you face with your sleep specialist to find the ideal solution for you. You may need to use an oral appliance or a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to help you get the best rest possible. 

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Can Help

If you have sleep apnea, you know how much this condition interferes with your daily life, both in your sleep and while you’re awake. People with OSA are more susceptible to unknowingly damaging their teeth and may develop bruxism (teeth grinding). 

If you receive a sleep apnea diagnosis, consult with an oral surgeon to determine if you have an oral condition that requires oral surgery. At Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah, our board-certified oral surgeons specialize in tooth extraction, dental implant insertion, corrective jaw surgery, and more. We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan, and Tooele. Schedule your free consultation today. 

What Aggravates Sleep Apnea?

How Sleep Apnea Wreaks Havoc On Your Health

Sleep apnea is a disorder in which your breathing repeatedly stops and starts while you sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 1 in 5 people in the United States live with this disorder. 

Continue reading to learn more about the different types of sleep apnea.

The Three Types of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea presents itself in three distinct forms: Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Central Sleep Apnea, and Complex Sleep Apnea. Although they share similar symptoms, the causes of these three types of sleep apnea are different. Treatment varies by type, so it’s essential to determine which type you have before trying at-home remedies and professional treatment. 

In today’s blog, we will discuss the three types of sleep apnea in-depth, and how they can wreak havoc on your health.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) occurs when something is obstructing your air passageway. Once your throat muscles relax, your tongue or other tissue falls back into your throat, which blocks your airflow; this limits the amount of oxygen that reaches your lungs. 

The three levels of OSA are: mild, moderate, and severe. 

  • A person with mild OSA experiences five to 14 breathing interruptions per hour 
  • A person with moderate OSA experiences 15 to 30 breathing interruptions per hour 
  • A person with severe OSA experiences over 30 breathing interruptions per hour

Symptoms of OSA include:

  • Snoring: Although snoring is normal, people with OSA snore loudly and frequently. 
  • Waking up: If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night gasping for air, you may have OSA. 
  • Daytime fatigue: Sleepiness that lasts all day even though you had a full night’s rest can indicate a breathing problem. Every time you wake up due to obstructed breathing, your brain resets its sleep cycle. 
  • Morning headaches: Not receiving enough oxygen in your brain can result in a lack of oxygen in your bloodstream. Morning headaches are a product of oxygen deprivation. 

Central Sleep Apnea

Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) occurs when your brain is unable to send signals to other parts of your body. Because your brain can’t communicate with the muscles responsible for breathing, your body doesn’t try to breathe. 

Symptoms of CSA include:

  • Difficulty concentrating: This makes it difficult to complete tasks due to a lack of sleep.
  • Changes in mood: If you’re irritated continuously, you may have CSA.
  • Chronic fatigue: This symptom has a detrimental impact on a person’s ability to function throughout the day. 

Complex Sleep Apnea

Complex Sleep Apnea (CSA) is a combination of the other two types of sleep apnea. Left untreated, it can result in: 

  • Weakened immune system: Lack of sleep caused by sleep apnea can weaken your immune system because of a decrease in T-cells. 
  • Low oxygen in the blood: Low oxygen levels can cause problems with heart rhythms, fluid buildup, and frequent strokes. 
  • Memory loss: Because sleep helps us solidify our memories and process information, sleep apnea can wreak havoc in your mind. You may find it difficult to remember past events. 

Contact Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you should consult with your dentist because you may grind your teeth during sleep without knowing. Over time, teeth grinding can result in the decline of your oral health, and you may need oral surgery. The board-certified surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can help you with all your oral care needs. Schedule your free consultation today. 

How Sleep Apnea Wreaks Havoc On Your Health

Why Sleep Apnea Causes Mood Disorders

Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes you to stop breathing during sleep. Unfortunately, it can result in insomnia, fatigue, and headaches that can impact your day-to-day life. Why does sleep apnea cause mood disorders, such as depression? Read on to find out.

The Correlation Between Sleep Apnea and Depression

There’s a relationship between sleep and mood, and sleep deprivation and depression go hand in hand. Approximately 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, and 15 million of them are also diagnosed with depression, according to the National Sleep Foundation. It’s essential to get around eight hours of sleep each night; not only will this keep fatigue at bay, but you will be in a better mood.

In today’s blog, we will discuss the symptoms of depression and sleep apnea.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Breathing cessation in the middle of your sleep
  • Waking up abruptly and experiencing shortness of breath
  • Having a hard time concentrating
  • Excessive sleepiness during the day
  • Waking up with headaches
  • Sore throat or dry mouth in the morning
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty falling asleep

You won’t be able to tell if you have sleep apnea because you can’t keep track of your snoring. However, if you suspect you have it, your significant other or a family member can provide you with more information on your sleeping habits before you see a doctor. 

Symptoms of Depression

The following are symptoms of depression:

  • Irritability, frustration, and anger over minor issues
  • Feelings of sadness and hopelessness
  • Isolating yourself
  • Changes in your eating habits (overeating or undereating)
  • Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Headaches
  • Lack of interest

How Can I Cope?

As you can see, several symptoms of sleep apnea and depression overlap. The key to differential diagnosis is first to find out if you have sleep apnea, as it may be causing or aggravating your depression. 

It’s best to make an appointment with your primary doctor. Depending on your diagnosis, they will refer you to a sleep clinic where you will have your sleep evaluated. However, if you don’t have sleep apnea, they can refer you to a therapist who can help you cope with your depression. 

In some cases, sleep apnea treatment can help reduce depression symptoms. For the time being, you can use these methods to treat your conditions at home while you wait to see your doctor:

  • Regular exercise: If you exercise multiple times a week, you will release endorphins, which can help reduce your depression symptoms.
  • Sleeping on your side: When you sleep on your back, your tongue obstructs your airway. Try sleeping on your side instead. 
  • Reduce your alcohol intake: Habitual drinking tends to worsen depression and sleep apnea. 
  • Avoid sleeping pills: Sleeping pills do not affect sleep apnea, and they can amplify your depression.

A good night’s sleep isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. Getting better sleep will improve your overall quality of life. 

Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah Can Help

If you were diagnosed with sleep apnea, you should consult with a dentist or oral surgeon immediately. Sleep apnea can lead to bruxism (teeth grinding), which wears down your teeth; this can result in other oral health problems. The board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can provide you with the care you need, and we’re more than happy to answer your questions. Schedule your free consultation today. 

Why Sleep Apnea Causes Mood Disorders

Is Sleep Apnea Preventable?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Diagnoses of this disorder have increased by over 850 percent in the last five years, according to FAIR Health. Do you snore loudly and feel tired after a full night’s rest? If your answer is yes, then you may be at risk of developing sleep apnea. 

Continue reading to learn how you can prevent this disorder. 

Sleep Apnea Is a Public Health Concern

If you have sleep apnea, then you repeatedly stop breathing in your sleep for about ten seconds, which can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night. Some people don’t realize they have it, and they can sleep without a problem; however, they might experience excessive daytime sleepiness. 

Undiagnosed sleep apnea has been linked to chronic conditions such as diabetes, depression, and heart disease. Moreover, daytime sleepiness can result in mistakes at work and an increased risk of car accidents. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims it’s a public health epidemic. 

Unfortunately, sleep apnea is difficult to diagnose on your own. If you suspect you have it, ask a loved one to monitor your sleep before you turn to a professional. Alternately, you can record your sleep and listen to your snoring. 

Sleep Apnea Prevention

Currently, there’s no direct method to prevent sleep apnea, but there are tips you can follow to reduce its likelihood. Consider the following five strategies:

Number One: Stay Fit: Obesity is one of the leading causes of sleep apnea, so shedding a few pounds will help you combat it. If you’ve already been diagnosed with it, working out a few days a week can make the symptoms less severe. 

Number Two: Avoid Sedatives: Taking over-the-counter and prescription sleeping pills will make breathing difficult, which puts you at a higher risk of sleep apnea. If you need to take muscle relaxants or antipsychotic medication, and you have this condition, tell your doctor to lower your dosage. 

Number Three: Limit Alcohol: Drinking alcohol multiple times a week can slow down your breathing, even if you’re in shape. Moreover, if you also consume caffeine and nicotine, your sleep becomes fragmented; this increases your risk for weight gain and developing heart conditions. You don’t have to cut off alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine entirely, but if you’re consuming them daily, you should reduce your usage. 

Number Four: Invest in a Breathing Device: One of the most common treatment options for sleep apnea is using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. It consists of a mask connected to a small fan-like device, which you will have to wear while sleeping. A CPAP machine will blow air into your airways to keep them open. 

Number Five: Talk to Your Dentist: If you’ve used a CPAP machine, but it didn’t help, you will need to visit your dentist. They can recommend you to an oral surgeon who can provide you with an appliance to pull your jaw forward, which will create an open airway while you sleep. 

Contact Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah

If you have sleep apnea, you should consult with an experienced oral surgeon who can determine if you need jaw surgery. Undergoing jaw surgery will expand your airways, which can ease your condition. Schedule your consultation with the board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah today. 

Is Sleep Apnea Preventable?

Signs Your Partner Has Sleep Apnea

Does your partner’s loud snoring wake you up at night? If your partner frequently gasps for air and has abnormal breathing patterns, then you may have reason to be concerned. It’s likely your partner has sleep apnea, which is a serious sleep disorder where breathing repeatedly stops and starts. The main symptom of sleep apnea is loud snoring, so if your partner lets out an audible snore and is tired after a full night’s rest, they might have sleep apnea. 

According to the Alaska Sleep Education Center, more than 20 million adults suffer from sleep apnea in the United States. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to multiple health problems, such as excessive daytime sleepiness, restless sleep, morning headaches, depression, cardiovascular issues, and several more. Unfortunately, many people who live with sleep apnea aren’t aware of their abnormal sleeping habits, so they don’t know what’s causing their health problems. Bring this problem to your partner’s attention so they can schedule a doctor’s appointment. Keep reading to learn more about sleep apnea. 

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Here are the main symptoms of sleep apnea: 

  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Not being able to breathe consistently during sleep
  • Awakening with a dry mouth
  • Morning headache
  • Difficulty staying asleep (Insomnia)
  • Trouble paying attention
  • Irritability

The two main types of sleep apnea are obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.  

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form of sleep apnea, and it occurs when the throat muscles relax. When your throat muscles relax, your airway closes as you breathe in, which results in low oxygen levels in your blood. The brain senses your inability to breathe and briefly wakes you up during sleep to force you to reopen your airway. You might snort, choke, or grasp, and this pattern can repeat itself up to 30 times in one hour. You won’t be able to reach the deep, restful phases of sleep. 

The following factors increase the risk of obstructive sleep apnea: 

  • Excess weight: Being overweight significantly increases the risk of OSA. Fat deposits around your airway can obstruct your breathing. 
  • Being male: Men are three times more likely to experience OSA than women.
  • Family history: Having family members who have OSA increases your risk of experiencing it. 
  • Smokers: Smokers are more likely to experience OSA because smoking increases the amount of inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway. 

Central Sleep Apnea

Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing, which means you involuntarily make no effort to breathe for short periods. This type of sleep apnea is less common than OSA. Risk factors of central sleep apnea include:

  • Aging: The elderly are at higher risk of experiencing central sleep apnea. 
  • Heart disorders: Having congestive heart failure increases the risk of central sleep apnea. 
  • Stroke: Being prone to recurrent strokes increases your chances of this type of sleep apnea. 

If your partner was diagnosed with sleep apnea, they’re at risk of destroying their teeth due to constant teeth grinding. Grinding causes tooth wear and breakage, so your partner should consult with an orthodontist before they unknowingly ruin their teeth. Schedule an appointment for your partner with Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah today

Signs Your Partner Has Sleep Apnea

The Dangers of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous sleep disorder that causes breathing to stop and start throughout the night. The different forms of sleep apnea include obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea (a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.) Sleep apnea disrupts your sleep and leaves you at risk for many other potential health issues. 

High Blood Pressure

Because sleep apnea causes you to wake up frequently throughout the night—it can stress your body and boost your blood pressure levels. A lack of sleep can make your hormones go into overdrive which can also affect blood pressure. Because sleep apnea also affects your breathing, it impacts the level of oxygen in your blood as well—causing blood pressure to rise. 

If someone struggles with high blood pressure and they obtain sleep apnea, their blood pressure issues are likely to worsen. 

Heart Disease

Those who are dealing with sleep apnea are at higher risk for heart disease. The low oxygen levels and stress of waking up through the night both contribute to heart disease and leave you at higher risk for a heart attack, stroke, and atrial fibrillation (a quickened and fluttering heartbeat.) When your body does not get enough oxygen, your brain struggles to control blood flow. 

Acid Reflux

Though it hasn’t been proven that sleep apnea causes acid reflux, there does seem to be a correlation. In some cases, treating acid reflux can also improve symptoms of sleep apnea and vice versa. 


Sleep apnea blocks your airways and puts you at a higher risk of developing breathing disorders. It has been proven that treating symptoms of sleep apnea can lead to fewer asthma attacks. 

Those who struggle with asthma are also more likely to develop a sleep disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea. A study reported by WebMD found that about 15% of those with sleep apnea also struggle with asthma. 

Weight Gain

Weight gain and sleep apnea go hand in hand. Suffering from sleep apnea leads to weight gain and being overweight puts you at higher risk for sleep apnea—it’s a slippery slope. Sleep apnea and consistently waking up through the night makes it more difficult to lose weight. When dealing with sleep apnea, your body will release more hormones that cause you to crave carbs and sweets. It’s also more difficult for you to turn food into energy—also leading to weight gain. Similarly, being overweight often means having fatty deposits in your neck that can obstruct breathing at night and lead to obstructive sleep apnea. 

Though sleep apnea can be dangerous, the good news is—it’s treatable! There are treatment and surgical options to help you recover from sleep apnea. At Oral and Facial Surgery of Utah, our team can help you determine the right course of action for you. Contact us today to learn more

The Dangers of Sleep Apnea

What is Sleep Apnea?: 7 Facts About Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a chronic sleeping disorder that occurs when there is a pause in breathing during sleep. Breathing can stop and start many times again throughout the night—causing one to wake up frequently. Sleep apnea makes it very difficult to get a restful night’s sleep.

There are many common misconceptions and unknowns about sleep apneas. Today, we’re sharing a few facts about sleep apnea and the risks it presents. 

1. There are multiple kinds of sleep apnea.

There are three different kinds of sleep apnea—central sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, and mixed sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send a signal to the muscles needed to take a breath. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles need to take a breath fail to because airways are obstructed. Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of both central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea. 

2. Sleep apnea can be life-threatening.

Sleep apnea can put you at risk for diabetes, stroke, heart attack, or other potentially life-threatening conditions. Aside from these severe risk factors, sleep apnea can also impact your night’s sleep, lead to trouble focusing during the day, and impact mental illness such as depression. 

3. Obesity puts you at high risk. 

Obesity is a significant risk factor for sleep apnea. It can not only lead to sleep apnea, but it can also worsen it. In reverse, obesity can also worsen due to sleep apnea. 

4. Snoring is a symptom, but not the only one.

Snoring is the most well-known symptom of sleep apnea but is not the only symptom. Snoring is common with sleep apnea because of the trouble breathing, but sleep apnea can occur without snoring or other obvious signs. 

5. It’s more common for men.

Statistically, more men suffer from sleep apnea than women. After they reach menopausal age, women are less likely to develop sleep apnea. Men are more likely to live a lifestyle that encourages sleep apnea. 

6. It often goes undiagnosed. 

Though sleep apnea is common, many people with the condition go undiagnosed. When airways get blocked in your sleep, sleep apnea occurs. However, because it happens during sleep, it can go unnoticed or undiagnosed for many years. According to the Cleveland Clinic, about 80% of those with sleep apnea go undiagnosed. 

7. It can be treated.

Sleep apnea can be treated in many options. A lifestyle change can help, positive airway pressure therapy or surgery are also options. 

If you are noticing symptoms of sleep apnea in you or a loved one, take action before the symptoms worsen. The professionals at Oral and Facial Surgery of Utah have years of experience in treating sleep apnea through surgery. Come see us today!

7 Facts About Sleep Apnea