Your dentist can tell if you have sleep apnea and explain what causes it

Your dentist can tell if you have sleep apnea and explain what causes it

by Americare Respiratory Services

Our patient education library is an excellent resource for information about sleep apnea, including the causes, symptoms, and treatment options.  It takes just a few seconds to find answers to common questions like what cause sleep apnea? 

The answer depends on the type of sleep apnea – obstructive (OSA) or cental (CSA). 

For OSA, the majority of sleep apnea cases are caused by obstructions in the nose or throat that block a person’s breathing airway.  During sleep, the airway muscles relax and the airway closes or is blocked.

For CSA, sleep apnea is caused by a low level of carbon dioxide in the blood. Carbon dioxide is a powerful breathing signal for the central nervous system, and if it is too low, the brain fails to signal the lungs to breathe.

However, your dentist might mention another cause of sleep apnea. 

Dr. Larry Evola (Lancaster, PA) is a dentist who was trained at the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies.  In a recent interview, Dr. Evola offered some insight into how dentists can diagnose sleep disorders like sleep apnea:

“There are certain questions you can ask. You can look into a patient’s oral cavity. If there’s large tonsil tissue that you can see or there’s a restriction of their airway based on visual inspection, that would be a tip-off. There’s also some correlation with patients who are a little bit heavier, with a big neck. There’s a huge overlap with patients who have TMJ problems and sleep apnea. They’re both disorders of cranialfacial anatomy.


“A lot of sleep breathing disorder stuff happens when they’re younger. If a child becomes more of a mouth breather and doesn’t breathe through their nose, that sets off certain physiologic and metabolic changes in the way their face develops and the way their teeth come in. That creates some of the airway restrictions and consequently we see those patients down the road with pink in their head and neck area. A lot of times we see those folks after they see the ear, nose and throat doctor, the neurologist for headaches and unexplained pain.”

To learn more about treatment options for sleep apnea, and how Americare Respiratory Services can match you with the right equipment, please call us at 866-344-2774. 

We are a full-service CPAP and BiPAP company.  

We carry the top brands and offer affordable payment options for people with no insurance coverage for CPAP therapy.