The Dangers of Untreated Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition that affects millions of people around the world. The chief visible symptom of sleep apnea is snoring, which can disrupt a partner’s sleep. However, sleep apnea poses a much more serious threat than waking up to a grumpy partner.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea also disrupts the sleep of the person who suffers from this condition. As a result, the body does not get the requisite number of hours of deep slumber. Furthermore, sleep apnea inhibits proper oxygen flow. This is why many with this condition wake abruptly during fits in the night. Their body is alerting them that oxygen deprivation is taking place. Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Not feeling rested upon waking up
  • Being jolted awake a number of times in the night
  • Waking with an extremely dry mouth
  • Loud, disruptive snoring

The Dangers of Untreated Sleep Apnea

Your dentist in Rancho Mirage treats sleep apnea. The treatment is non-invasive and painful, so there’s no reason why you should not seek treatment for sleep apnea. But there’s another reason to get treatment as soon as possible. Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening condition.

Sleep apnea has been tied to poor cardiovascular health. Those who suffer from sleep apnea have a higher incidence of stroke and heart attack.

Another danger is diabetes. Many people who have sleep apnea are dangerously obese. Obesity is defined as weighing 30 pounds or more over your healthy weight range. The connection between obesity, sleep apnea, and diabetes has been firmly established. Diabetes can lead to vascular disease or even amputation in extreme cases.

Bear in mind that sleep apnea is often a symptom of something more serious regarding health. The sooner you can get your sleep apnea under control with your dentist, the sooner you can get ack on the path to optimal health.


What Causes Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea, a dangerous condition where a person’s breathing may frequently stop for as long as 10 seconds at a time while sleeping, is a serious medical problem requiring treatment and correction. Potentially threatening in that it can lead to increased risk of being involved in motor vehicle accidents due to drowsiness or even lead to heart attacks while asleep, it affects men and women. As for its causes, researchers have found many different reasons for this condition, with some of the most commonly discussed below.


While thin people can have sleep apnea, it is far more prevalent in those who are overweight or obese. In fact, studies have shown obese individuals (defined as having a body mass index above 30) have a 32% greater chance of developing sleep apnea.


Sometimes, genetics play a role in sleep apnea. For example, if a person’s family has a history of having enlarged upper airway structures such as the soft palate, this can lead to sleep apnea.


On average, men are three times more likely to suffer from sleep apnea than women. As for why, one reason is thought to be men having more fat distributed around their neck, which may lead to a narrowing and subsequent blockage of the upper airway.


As people age, their risk of developing sleep apnea increases. For people age 65 or older, 62% have at least 10 apnea events each hour while sleeping.

Head and Neck Abnormalities

For persons who may have small jaws, large tonsils, or nasal issues such as a deviated septum or allergic rhinitis, these conditions may contribute to developing sleep apnea.

If you snore frequently, are always tired, or have problems concentrating, sleep apnea may be the reason why. To find out more, discuss your concerns with your dentist.