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Snoring can be benign and the result of a structural issue, but it can also can be sign of sleep apnea – where your breathing is obstructed throughout the night, which stops your breathing for a few seconds, often many times an hour. You may be at risk for sleep apnea if you:

-Are male
-Are Overweight
-Are over 40
-Have a large neck size – Greater than 17-inches in men and 16-iches or greater in women
-Have a family history of sleep apnea
-Suffer from GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease
-Have structural issues like allergies, sinus problems, or deviated septum
-Have large tonsils, tongue, or have a small jaw bone

There are two types of sleep apnea: Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA and Central Sleep Apnea. OSA is more common than central sleep apnea and is caused by a blockage of the airway. The soft tissue, in the back of the throat, collapses during sleep, whereas in central sleep apnea, the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe; this type can be caused by instability in the respiratory control center.

There are many side effects of sleep apnea, with the most common being high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, headaches, heart failure, irregular heartbeats, heart attacks, stroke, and worsening of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

At Wheelock & Bursick Dentistry, we can examine you for signs of sleep apnea and suggest treatment options to help, such as with a dental appliance. Please call the dentist, Dr. Douglas Wheelock, if you have signs of sleep apnea. You can reach our office, in Sioux City, Iowa, for an appointment, today. Our contact number is 712-274-2038.