Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common disorder found in many people throughout the world. Nearly twenty million Americans are diagnosed with sleep apnea. Anybody can have sleep apnea without even knowing that they do! Sleep apnea is dangerous and can take your life away while you’re asleep.

The Greek word “apnea” literally means “without breath.” What often happens is when one is asleep, the soft tissue in and around the throat, including the tongue, relax and then collapse in on the airway.

The obstructed airway is what causes the snoring sound. But the larger issue here is that the body is not breathing properly, and during an apnea event, the person will stop breathing. A more serious indication of sleep apnea outside of just snoring is when someone gasps for breath during sleep. This blockage and involuntary reaction process is known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Obstructive Sleep Apnea


It’s estimated that as many as 90% of sleep apnea cases are undiagnosed. Many people believe snoring is just a nuisance for the bed partner, without realizing that it may be caused by obstructive sleep apnea—a potentially life-threatening condition that can be treated. This may not sound like a big deal initially, but sleep apnea can be dangerous for those who suffer from it. Also, not everyone with sleep apnea is obese. A Johns Hopkins article notes that while 20% of obese people have sleep apnea, it also affects an average of 3% of individuals of normal weight.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The main problem with sleep apnea is that the body is not properly oxygenating itself and not properly ridding the body of carbon dioxide. When you inhale, you breathe in much needed oxygen and when you exhale, you purge toxic carbon dioxide. Those who suffer from sleep apnea are severely disrupting this much needed body function.

When left untreated, sleep apnea can have dire consequences: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, daytime fatigue, increased chance of car accidents, diabetes, depression and weight gain. Even recent studies show links to various forms of cancer, including brain cancer.

Here at Novi Oaks Dental Sleep & TMJ, we are committed to helping people treat this condition and achieve quality, restorative sleep. If you think you or a loved one is suffering from sleep apnea, please reach out to our office to schedule an appointment. We can provide non-invasive solutions for disruptive snoring. By wearing a special mouthguard-like oral appliance during sleep, many people are able to reduce or eliminate their snoring and prevent apnea events from occurring.

Call us today at 248-347-3030

To schedule a Sleep Evaluation and learn how Oral Appliance Therapy can help you.