Obstructive Sleep Apnea Specialist

Pacific Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Center

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery located in Oakland, CA & Lower Pacific Heights, San Francisco, CA

Obstructive sleep apnea constricts your airways during sleep, causing symptoms like excessive snoring and insomnia. Brandon Kang, DDS, Matt Chroust, DDS, MD, and the expert team at Pacific Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Center provides several effective treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea that help to restore breathing at night. To learn more, call either of their offices in the Lower Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco or in Oakland, California, or book your appointment online today.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Q&A

What is sleep apnea?

There are two types of sleep apnea. The first is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is a common and potentially serious condition that limits your airflow because of blockages in your upper airway during sleep. These interruptions in your breathing make you wake up constantly throughout the night to start breathing again — even if you don’t know it. 

The other type of sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, develops when there is a problem with how the brain sends signals to your breathing muscles. Your airway does not become blocked, as with OSA, but the brain is unable to tell your muscles to breathe. 

Patients who experience central sleep apnea may be at risk of experiencing other conditions such as a stroke, heart failure, brain infection, or brain tumors.

What are the common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea?

The most common symptoms associated with OSA include:

  • Excessive snoring
  • Choking or gasping while sleeping
  • Insomnia
  • Waking up repeatedly at night
  • Drowsiness during the day
  • Weight gain
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Dry mouth or a sore throat in the morning
  • Morning headaches

As most sleep apnea symptoms occur while you're sleeping, you often need your partner's help to detect them. Ask them to let you know if they notice anything out of the ordinary when you sleep at night.

What causes obstructive sleep apnea?

The exact cause of sleep apnea isn’t known, but a variety of risk factors increase your chances of having sleep apnea:

  • Being over the age of 40
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Smoking tobacco
  • Lack of exercise
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having large tonsils, a small jaw, or a large tongue
  • Having nasal obstructions due to sinus issues, a deviated septum, or allergies
  • A family history of sleep apnea

Leading a healthy lifestyle that includes maintaining a healthy weight and a balanced diet is the best preventive action against sleep apnea. You can decide to lead a healthier lifestyle, unlike factors that you can't control, such as aging and how your brain controls breathing during sleep.

How is sleep apnea treated?

There are several ways your dentist can treat sleep apnea, depending on the severity of your condition.

Sleep habits

Sleep habits can trigger sleep apnea. The team at Pacific Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Center recommends exercises and practices you can implement to change them.

Oral appliances

The placement of your jaw can block or collapse your airways. There are oral devices available that support your jaw and shift it into a more suitable position.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)

A CPAP machine uses air pressure to keep your airways open while supplying a steady stream of air in through your nose, helping you to breathe better while you sleep.

Surgery

When all other attempts to treat sleep apnea are unsuccessful, surgery to open the airways is the last option. The type of surgery you need depends on why you have sleep apnea in the first place.

If you think you may have sleep apnea, it’s important to call Pacific Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Center or book an appointment online to learn about your treatment options.