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Sleep Apnea Service

Dr. Mallory at Alpine Smiles Family Dentistry is a premier provider of oral appliance therapy. We’ll customize our oral appliance therapy to suit your individual needs, matching your mouth shape, and size, and we’ll even let you choose your color preference.

Sleep apnea should cause no fear with the right treatment. You are not alone! Call us today to make an appointment at 928-774-9553 so our team of experts can provide the most effective treatment for snoring and sleep apnea.

What is Sleep Apnea?


Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. When left untreated, this repeated stopping and starting of breathing limits the brain — and the rest of the body — from getting enough oxygen as you sleep.

There are Two Different Types of Sleep Apnea

Image by Gregory Pappas

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): The more common of the two types of apnea, OSA is caused by a blockage of the airway. Typically this occurs when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses while sleeping.

Central sleep apnea: Unlike OSA, which is a physical condition, central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to signal your muscles to breathe at night, due to instability within the respiratory control center.

Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea

Sleeping in Green Sheets

Sleep apnea can affect anyone, but these factors increase the likelihood of having it:
• Being overweight
• Being male
• Being over the age of 40
• Having large tonsils, a small jaw bone, or a large tongue
• Having a large neck size (16 inches or greater for women; 17 inches or greater for men)
• Having a family history of sleep apnea
• Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
• Any nasal obstruction due to allergies, sinus problems, or a deviated septum

Some Common Signs to Watch Out For:

Often, the person experiencing sleep apnea will not be aware of the symptoms of interrupted sleep. Instead, their partner generally notices their breathing issues while they sleep.

  • Overwhelming fatigue or drowsiness during the day

  • Regularly choking, gasping for air, or snoring while sleeping

  • Insomnia

  • Irritability

  • Decreased libido

  • Morning headaches

  • Memory loss

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Waking up with a dry mouth or raw throat

  • Pauses in your breathing

  • Feeling unrefreshed after waking up

  • Waking up throughout the night to use the restroom

Man Sleeping

Warning Signs & Risk Factors


OSA Risk Factors if left untreated

Some Risk Factors Associated With Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA):

If left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can be life-threatening. OSA involves pauses in your breathing for up to 10 seconds or more at a time while sleeping. This blockage of breathing causes a dangerous decrease in oxygenation to the blood, in addition to decreased sleep quality.

If your breathing becomes infrequent enough, it can cause instant tissue ischemia (the death of tissue due to lack of oxygen) in your heart or your brain. This can result in a heart attack or a stroke.

Men are twice as likely to have OSA as women. Other factors include:

  • Excess weight

  • Family history (sleep apnea is hereditary)

  • High blood pressure

  • Large neck size (17”+ for men and 16”+ for women)

  • Being middle-aged

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