Sleep Apnea FAQ

If you have questions about sleep apnea, we have you covered! At Dental Sleep Medicine Hawaii, we offer answers to frequently asked questions for your convenience, and we encourage you to ask more specific questions regarding your personal treatment with Dr. Dennis Nagata. Our dentist and team are ready to listen to you and to help you get a good night’s sleep again! Call our team at 808-946-6326 to learn more about sleep apnea in Honolulu, Hawaii!

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition where the airway is restricted during sleep. Airway restrictions can cause pauses in breathing as often as 40 times a minute for as long as a full minute at a time.

What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

An estimated 15 million people suffer from sleep apnea, and many are unaware that they have it. If you have sleep apnea, you may experience symptoms such as:

  • Snoring with pauses in breathing.
  • Gasping and choking sensations while you sleep.
  • Dry mouth, sore throat or headaches upon waking.
  • Sleepiness and fatigue during the day.
  • Memory impairment and difficulty concentrating.
  • Depression, anxiety and mood swings.

Sleep is when your body heals itself, so when sleep apnea goes untreated, it can result in a variety of medical issues and a poorer quality of life. Physical conditions include but are not limited to:

  • Increased risk of accidents from fatigued driving.
  • Heart disease and stroke.
  • Weight gain.
  • Diabetes.
  • Hypertension.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Liver problems.
  • Problems with the respiratory and immune systems.
  • Problems with hormone production.

We highly recommend that you get treatment for sleep apnea so you and your overall health do not have to pay the price.

How Is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed and Treated?
If you are not getting a restful sleep, talk to your regular physician. If they think you have sleep apnea, they can refer you to Dr. Dennis Nagata, who can arrange for you to participate in a sleep study and diagnose how severe your condition is.

Once you have been diagnosed, Dr. Nagata can usually treat your sleeping disorder in one of two ways: a sleep apnea mouth guard (oral appliance therapy) or CPAP machine.

Sleep Apnea is a serious medical condition that should be diagnosed by a sleep physician, which is why we do NOT recommend over-the-counter sleep appliances for treatment.

What Is Oral Appliance Therapy?
An oral appliance is used much like an orthodontic retainer and is fitted to the mouth so as to be comfortable, non-invasive and easily adjustable. The appliance gently repositions the lower jaw into a forward position, moving the tongue forward, tightening the soft tissues of the throat and building better muscle tone around the airway so that you can breathe more naturally.

How Does a CPAP Machine Work?

A Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine delivers a stream of pressurized air through a tube that is connected to a special mask that you wear while you sleep. This oxygenated air prevents your airway from collapsing so you can continuously breathe while sleeping.

If you have a CPAP machine and are required to travel, you can receive an oral appliance to help you continue to sleep at night.

If you cannot tolerate CPAP therapy, we recommend learning more about CPAP intolerance.