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Oregon City Dentist, Dentist in Oregon City, OR

Alexander C.Y. Lin, D.D.S., P.C.

 

Cosmetic & Familly Dentistry
Including Snoring & Sleep Apnea Solutions

(503)656-8799

Patient Information
 

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

When you sleep, the muscles that hold the airway open relax. Snoring occurs when the muscles relax enough to cause the airway to narrow and partially obstruct the flow of air. A large tongue, large tonsils, a long soft palate and uvula, and excess fat deposits in the throat also contribute to airway narrowing. As air passes through these obstructions the throat structures vibrate causing the sound known as snoring. When the airway is completely blocked, preventing the flow of air into the lungs, that is known as obstructive sleep apnea. Many patients are referred for a sleep evaluation because of concerned bed partners who witness episodes of no breathing in between loud snoring. During an apnea (no breathing) episode, breathing completely stops for at least 10 seconds and may stop for over a minute. Lack of oxygen to the brain creates a partial arousal. This allows the airway to open and breathing (usually accompanied by loud snoring) and sleep to resume until the next apnea episode. This pattern of periodic awakenings and periodic lack of oxygen intake results in non-restorative unhealthy sleep and low blood oxygen levels. The combination of these effects have dire health consequences. Studies show that patients with sleep apnea are much more likely to suffer from heart problems, strokes, diabetes, depression, memory loss, as well as have a higher incidence of work related and driving related accidents.

The most commonly recognized sleep apnea symptoms are:

  • loud snoring
  • excessive daytime sleepiness

Other symptoms including

  • high blood pressure
  • irritability
  • non-breathing episodes when sleeping witnessed by a bed partner
  • memory impairment, difficulty concentrating
  • weight gain

Do I Have Sleep Apnea?

If you think you may suffer from sleep apnea, and answer "yes" to most of the questions below, please schedule a consultation with our office or with your doctor for an evaluation.

  1. Do you wake up every few hours during the night?
  2. Do you ever wake up gasping for air?
  3. Has your bed partner noticed that you snore loudly and that you stop breathing while you sleep?
  4. Do you wake up feeling tired even though you slept for 7-8 hours?
  5. Do you experience daytime fatigue, especially when involved in quiet activities such as driving or listening to a lecture?
  6. Do you have a difficult time concentrating and remembering information?
  7. Are morning headaches a regular occurrence? Lack of oxygen can cause headaches to be more frequent and significant upon awakening.
  8. Do you have high blood pressure? Half of all patients who have sleep apnea also have high blood pressure.