What causes sleep apnea?

Posted Oct 4th, 2019

What causes sleep apnea?

Those who suffer from sleep apnea experience frequent breathing pauses during sleep. Here, our Delta dentist explains the causes of sleep apnea.


OSA - Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea, OSA, is the most common form of sleep apnea. OSA is caused by the collapse of the upper airway, making it difficult to get sufficient air into the lungs.

Obstructive sleep apnea is more commonly found in men than in women, in those who are overweight, and in those people who sleep on their backs.

Typically, when people of normal weight suffer from OSA there is some kind of abnormality in the lower face, such as a large tongue, an unusually small chin or an overbite.

CSA - Central Sleep Apnea

Far more rare than obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea (CSA) happens when the brain does not send normal signals to the chest telling it to breathe properly during asleep.

Causes of central sleep apnea include neurologic disease (that is, a disease of the brain), severe heart disease, and certain medications such as morphine and other narcotics.

MSA - Mixed Sleep Apnea

Not surprisingly, mixed sleep apnea, is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. MSA begins as central sleep apnea, and then gradually develops into obstructive sleep apnea.

If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, contact our Delta dentists at Ladner Village Dental to book an assessment today.

Get on the path to a brighter, healthier smile. Contact Ladner Village Dental today!