Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Patients who struggle with sleep apnea may choose to visit a sleep clinic and undergo tests that last a lengthy period of time. However, these clinics can sometimes prove to be unreliable. They often involve bringing patients away from the comfort of their own home and placing them in an unfamiliar environment, making their sleep study results less accurate. We recommend that you consider taking a quicker and more comfortable screening for sleep apnea offered by Dental Sleep Medicine Hawaii. Contact our office today at 808-946-6326 if you would like to learn more about obstructive sleep apnea in Honolulu, Hawaii!

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common sleep-related breathing disorder for both children and adults, though chances of developing sleep apnea do increase with age. It appears more commonly in patients in their 50s and 60s, though risk factors tend to level off after that. Other factors can play a role in diagnosis, including:

  • Gender: Men are two to three times more likely to be diagnosed with sleep apnea than women.
  • Obesity: Patients who increase their weight by only 10% are six times more likely to be at risk.
  • Craniofacial abnormalities: People with enlarged tonsils or tongues, short mandibles, or abnormally sized upper jaw bones are more likely to have sleep apnea.
  • Family history: Genetics can play a role in patients who are diagnosed.
  • Nasal congestion: Patients with nasal congestion are two times more likely to have sleep apnea.
  • Lifestyle choices: Smokers are three times more likely to be diagnosed than non-smokers.
  • Neck size: Patients with larger necks are more likely to have their airway blocked.

Obstructive sleep apnea often occurs when your breathing becomes restricted by muscles that relax as you sleep, causing soft tissue to block your airway. You are unable to get enough oxygen, causing multiple pauses in breathing or even no breathing for up to a whole minute. Snorting, choking or gasping is a sure sign of sleep apnea and can happen up to 30 times or more each hour. Since your body is so focused on receiving the oxygen it needs, you never get the restful sleep that you need.

Health Risks of OSA

Many other oral conditions can contribute to having an obstructed airway and hinder you from sleeping properly. Depending on your symptoms, you may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea or other sleep disorders, such as snoring or central sleep apnea.

Regardless, lack of sleep is detrimental to your health, and our dentist is happy to help you achieve better sleep. We have multiple treatments at Dental Sleep Medicine Hawaii which Dr. Nagata can use according to the factors that are causing your specific diagnosis. The most common sleep apnea treatments are CPAP machines and oral appliances, though surgery may be required for patients with more severe cases.

To determine whether you might have obstructive sleep apnea, you can take these highly recommended sleep apnea assessments online! If your score is high enough, we encourage you to contact our dentist, Dr. Dennis Nagata, today and request an appointment regarding treatment.

The Epworth Sleepiness Scale
Learn more about the Epworth Sleepiness Scale here