Treatment Options for Different Types of Sleep Apnea Disorders

Treatment Options for Different Types of Sleep Apnea Disorders

Feb 01, 2022

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that affects thousands of people. In this case, breathing is interrupted due to repeated pauses during sleep. This is known as an apnea event. Although there are many types of sleep apnea, the two main types include obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

Different factors lead to the specific type of sleep apnea, and without proper diagnosis and treatment, you may develop serious health complications. Therefore, it is important to understand the symptoms and differences between central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder. In this case, it will block your upper airway while you sleep. This may happen partially or fully. When this happens, your chest muscles and diaphragm have difficulty opening the airway for you to breathe.

Usually, the cause of this blockage is that the throat muscles intermittently relax and contract the airway during sleep. This repeatedly occurs throughout the night and, in some cases, wakes people from the sleep cycle.

Sleep apnea symptoms occur during night sleep, while others affect the patient during waking hours.

The most apparent symptom of obstructive sleep apnea is loud snoring. Risk factors include:

  • Overweight- Being overweight triples your chances of developing OSAS.
  • Neck circumference- Fat deposits around the neck can cause airway obstruction.
  • Airway narrowing- This may be hereditary. Enlarged tonsils or adenoids may also cause it.
  • Men- Males are twice as likely to develop OSAS.
  • Old age- Middle-aged and older adults are more likely to develop OSAS.
  • Family history- You’re at greater risk if your relatives have OSAS.
  • Alcohol and usage- These substances relax the muscles in the throat.
  • Smoking- Smokers are three times more likely to suffer from OSAS than others. Smoking can also cause irritation and inflammation of the trachea.

Central Sleep Apnea

Central sleep apnea (CSA) is not as common as obstructive sleep apnea, and it is more severe. Central sleep apnea happens when the brain fails to send signals to the muscles involved in breathing. As a result, it causes interrupted breathing and the brain and body get limited oxygen during sleep.

Other conditions may cause central sleep apnea, including trauma, brain tumor, stroke, heart failure, or metabolic disease. The symptoms are identical to those of obstructive sleep apnea. However, the degree of snoring differs from those of obstructive sleep apnea.

Risk factors for central sleep apnea are:

  • Old age- Unluckily, being middle or old age may trigger CSA.
  • Heart disease- Congestive heart failure increases the risk of CSA.
  • Narcotic pain medications: Long-term use of opioids increases the risk of CSA
  • Stroke- a stroke that weakens your brain signals increases the risk of CSA.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

We use advanced procedures for the treatment of sleep-related disorders. After you see a sleep disorder specialist for a sleep study and referral, you may get recommendations for different treatment plans depending on your type of sleep apnea.

The most common sleep apnea treatment is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). In this, a mask blows air into your throat while you sleep. This prevents interruptions in breathing. However, not everyone can tolerate CPAP, so your sleep specialist may refer you to one of our dentists if CPAP does not work for you.

Sleep Apnea Mouthguards

During your sleep apnea treatment in Caledon, ON, our dentist will make special customized upper and lower mouthguards to help you adjust your jaw at night. This creates a more significant airway and allows you to breathe better during sleep.

Modified sleep apnea mouthguards are customized for each patient and effectively treat mild sleep apnea. After a month, it is essential to see your dentist make adjustments to your mouthguard. Also, the second appointment is after three months and later after six months.


Consider a sleep study if your loved one complains that you are snoring loudly or have other sleep apnea symptoms. At Kennedy North Dentistry, we study sleep patterns and use specialized equipment to diagnose sleep disorders in our patients. To learn more about the difference between central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea, make an appointment now.

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