Causes of Sleep Apnea

There are different factors that can contribute to sleep apnea, a dangerous condition in which your breathing stops periodically during sleep.


The Pittsburgh dentists at Dentonics have extensive experience helping patients (not to mention their loved ones) regain restful, healthy sleep through the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea. Left untreated, sleep apnea can result in a heightened risk for severe medical problems, including hypertension, heart disease and stroke.


Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common and dangerous form of sleep apnea, is typically caused by the relaxation of the muscles in the back of the throat. When these muscles relax and collapse as you sleep, the tissues they support can obstruct your airway.


This can result in chronic snoring, or waking up gasping or choking, among other sleep apnea symptoms. While it’s important to note that anyone can develop sleep apnea regardless of gender, age or ethnicity, there are some factors that indicate an increased risk for sleep apnea including:


  • Overweight
  • Physical features such as a narrow throat, or enlarged adenoids or tonsils
  • Family history of sleep apnea
  • Regular use of alcohol or sedatives
  • Smoking


Fortunately, there are effective and comfortable treatments for sleep apnea, including the use of custom oral appliances similar to sports mouthguards, which are designed to help you maintain an open airway during sleep.


If you would like to learn more about sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment, please contact Dentonics to schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Joe Quartuccio or Dr. Charles Frye. Our dentists welcome patients from Allison Park and the greater Pittsburgh area.

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