Causes of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that interferes with healthy breathing patterns during sleep. According to the National Institutes of Health, it affects about 12 million Americans, and while it can occur to anyone of any age, it tends to be more common in men who are over 40. If you have symptoms of sleep apnea, our Los Angeles sleep apnea clinic can help.
The causes of sleep apnea can vary significantly from person to person. Some patients may simply have excess throat tissue while others may have airways that are smaller than normal. An enlarged palate or tonsils can collapse during sleep, or the tongue can collapse over the airways.
Symptoms of sleep apnea generally include loud snoring, snoring that is punctuated by gasping or choking and feeling fatigued even after a full night’s sleep. In some cases, patients may wake up with a sore throat or headache, or they may feel distracted and have difficulty concentrating. Our Los Angeles sleep apnea dentist offers many solutions that can help you enjoy a better night of sleep.
Treatment for these patients may depend on their causes of sleep apnea. Mouth guards are one common option for patients whose tongues or soft tissues are blocking their airways. A mouth guard fits over the teeth and stabilizes the soft tissues or gently moves the lower jaw forward. Both of these designs can help keep the airways open. Lifestyle changes can also help ease the symptoms of sleep apnea and may be especially helpful for patients whose conditions are exacerbated by excess weight, alcohol use, tobacco use, poor muscle tone or the use of certain medications.
If you have sleep apnea or would like to learn more about the causes of sleep apnea, we can help. Contact our Los Angeles sleep apnea expert today to schedule your consultation.
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