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Do you know what sleep apnea is? Essentially, the most common type of sleep apnea occurs when your airway is obstructed while you sleep. This obstruction can be caused by your tongue or sagging muscles in your throat.  In fact, a person who suffers from sleep apnea may unknowingly wake up more than 100 times a night. If not addressed, sleep apnea can eventually lead to problems like heart disease and diabetes.

However, would you be surprised to learn that some people are more likely to have sleep apnea than others? Sometimes there is nothing you can do to protect yourself from sleep apnea, but at other times you can avoid the problem entirely.

Fortunately, there are choices you can make to prevent or fight against sleep apnea. Please remember that sleep apnea is caused when your airway is obstructed. Some substances, such as nicotine, can cause your airway to swell, making it more likely to be blocked. Similarly, those who struggle with obesity may have more tissue, meaning it can sag deeper and lead to sleep apnea.  Finally, alcohol can cause the muscles in your throat to relax ad sag.

Conversely, people with naturally small airways could be at risk for sleep apnea, especially if they struggle with colds, allergies, and sinus issues. Similarly, men are more likely to have sleep apnea than women. Sadly, men who have a family history of sleep apnea are even more likely.

Fortunately, even if you suffer from genetic problems, your dentist can create special appliances that will support your throat muscles. Similarly, a dentist can provide you with specified advice. If you are interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to contact us.