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We continue to follow the COVID-19 guidance from the Oregon Health Authority. At this time, masks are still required in all health care delivery settings.

What Is Sleep Apnea?
Portland, OR


A woman waking up well-rested after sleep apnea treatment at West End Dental in Portland, ORSleep apnea is a sleep disorder where you stop breathing and then start breathing again. This happens multiple times while you are sleeping. If left untreated, it can result in daytime fatigue, loud snoring, or more severe issues such as hypertension, high blood pressure, cardiomyopathy, diabetes, and heart attacks.

People with sleep apnea are more likely to cause job impairments, become involved in work and driving accidents, and struggle with academics.

Types of Sleep Apnea



Obstructive Sleep Apnea


The most dealt with sleep apnea type, obstructive sleep apnea, happens due to repeated relaxation and contraction of the throat muscles while breathing. When the airway becomes wholly or partially blocked, it takes the combined effort of the diaphragm and chest muscles to force open the airway.

Central Sleep Apnea


Central sleep apnea is caused by poor central nervous system functioning, causing the brain to forget to signal the respiratory muscles to make a ventilatory effort. Solitary or multiple consecutive central sleep apnea episodes can occur. A single episode can cause a person to stop breathing for up to 10 seconds at a time.

Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome


Central sleep apnea patients undergoing Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy face frequent episodes of complex sleep apnea syndrome.

What are a Few Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?


•  Loud snoring
•  Repeated nighttime awakenings
•  Dry mouth after waking up
•  Tiredness and fatigue
•  Startled awakening having a choking feeling
•  Gasping awake
•  Cognitive impairment
•  Headaches
•  Night sweats
•  Anxiety or depression
•  Insomnia
•  Irritability
•  Hypersomnia
•  Bedwetting
•  Unusual sleeping positions
•  Inability to concentrate during the day


How is Sleep Apnea Diagnosed?


Patients exhibiting symptoms of this disorder are subjected to a physical exam and a sleep study for a thorough evaluation.

Doctors use the sleep study to reveal the total number of sleep apnea episodes during that time. The study also helps monitor heart and brain activity.

Is There a Treatment for Sleep Apnea?


People with sleep apnea receive medical care depending on the kind of sleep apnea, length of episodes, and severity of the condition. Minor to mild cases can usually be treated with lifestyle changes such as weight loss, avoiding smoking, or treating nasal allergies.

CPAP therapy is an effective treatment for snoring and moderate to severe cases of sleep apnea.
Dental or oral appliance therapy involves using airway stimulation devices, such as night guards, for unobstructed airflow during sleep.

How is Dental Sleep Therapy Helpful for Patients with Sleep Apnea?


Mandibular advancement devices, such as mouthpieces and night guards, keep your jaw in a forwarded position, keeping your airway open. These devices are recommended for mild symptoms of sleep apnea. They are quieter, lightweight, and easier to manage than CPAP machines.

Do You Need an Evaluation for Your Sleep Apnea?


If you or a loved one are suffering from sleep apnea, please call us at (503) 446-2957 to book an appointment and discuss your symptoms with Dr. James Krippaehne. We will help alleviate the symptoms and let you enjoy a good night's sleep.
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