Midwest Dental Sleep Center

Excellence In Dental Sleep Medicine

Apnea literally means "cessation of breath." OSA occurs when there are repeated episodes of partial or complete upper airway collapse during sleep. Once the airway has collapsed, the diaphragm and chest muscles work harder to open the airway and pull air into the lungs. Breathing usually resumes with a loud gasp, snort, or body jerk. Episodes of airway collapse can interfere with sound sleep, reduce the flow of oxygen to vital organs and cause irregular heart rhythms.

Often, sleepers are unaware that they have OSA and may in fact regard themselves as "good sleepers" because they "can sleep anytime, anywhere" (eg, in the physician’s waiting room, in traffic, in class, at his or her office). Sleep apnea is recognized as a problem by others witnessing the episodes or is suspected because of its symptomology. Symptoms may be present for years (or even decades) without identification, during which time the sufferer may become conditioned to the daytime sleepiness and fatigue associated with significant levels of sleep disturbance


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form of apnea. Data from the Wisconsin Cohort Study indicate that the prevalence of OSA in people aged 30-60 years is 9-24% for men and 4-9% for women. Despite being a common disease, OSA is under recognized by most primary care physicians in the United States; an estimated 92% of women and 80% of men with OSA are not diagnosed

Risk Factors:

  • Above normal Body Mass Index
  • Neck circumference ≥ 15in. for women and ≥ 17in. for men
  • Advancing age Using alcohol, sedatives or tranquilizers
  • Smoking
  • Sleeping on your back
  • Family history of sleep apnea
  • Males Risk factor increases post menopause for females

Untreated Sleep Apnea is Associated with the Following:

  • Death Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Stroke Myocardial infarction
  • Heart failure
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Vehicular or other accident due to sleepiness