Sleep Apnea

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Get a restful night's sleep

The Greek word "apnea" means "without breath." People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night. Sleep apnea is very common and can be dangerous. Fortunately, in most cases it can be treated.

What causes sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep. Central sleep apnea, which is less common, occurs when the brain fails to send the appropriate signals to the breathing muscles to initiate respirations.

What are the harmful effects of sleep apnea?

With each apnea event, the brain briefly arouses the person in order for them to resume breathing, but consequently sleep is extremely fragmented. Untreated, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease, memory problems, weight gain, and headaches.

How does a dental appliance treat sleep apnea?

Dental appliances are an excellent treatment option for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. They function by holding the jaw and tongue forward and the palate up, thus preventing closure of the airway. This small increase in airway size often is enough to control the apneas. A dental appliance does not require surgery; it is small, portable, and does not require a machine. Furthermore, Dr. Doroodian will customize the dental appliance to fit your exact anatomy.


Atherton Dental is accredited by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, joining an elite group of centers around the nation recognized for excellence in treatment of patients with sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing. Furthermore, Dr. Doroodian has been awarded Diplomate status by the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, a unique honor that recognizes special competency in dental sleep medicine. If you snore or suffer from sleep apnea, schedule a consultation with Dr. Doroodian today.

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