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The Risks of Untreated Sleep Apnea

Published by Brian Homann DDS

Sleep apnea is an involuntary cessation of breathing that occurs while asleep in the middle of the night. Those with untreated sleep apnea may have breathing pause repeatedly during sleep, sometimes up to hundreds of times during the night. In most cases, the sleeper does not notice these breath stoppages; however, if left untreated, sleep apnea poses some serious health risks. Luckily, we offer sleep apnea dentistry in Elk Grove Village for those looking to improve their condition.

High Blood Pressure

Sudden drops in blood oxygen levels that occur during sleep apnea can strain the cardiovascular system and therefore increase blood pressure. Untreated sleep apnea places individuals at risk of high blood pressure in the future.


Involuntary cessation of breathing that occurs during sleep decreases blood flow to the brain and elevates blood pressure within the brain. Eventually, this decreased blood flow can harm the brain’s ability to prevent damage to itself.


When your breathing pauses during sleep, there is an increase in carbon dioxide in your blood. Therefore, insulin resistance occurs which means your body doesn’t use insulin effectively.

Heart Failure and Heart Attacks

Similar to high blood pressure, these sudden drops in blood oxygen levels strain the cardiovascular system and therefore increase your risk of heart attack, heart failure, and abnormal heartbeats.

Headaches and Negative Effects on Daily Life

Although these risks are not immediately life-threatening, a lack of a good night’s sleep can lead to headaches, drowsiness, and poor performance in everyday activities. Sleep apnea can affect your ability to drive, and your achievements in work and school settings.

It may not seem like the obvious choice, but sleep apnea dentistry in Elk Grove Village is a great option for the potential treatment of your condition. After an MD diagnoses you with sleep apnea, a sleep apnea appliance made by a dentist may be appropriate for certain types of the condition. An oral appliance may also be advised for people who cannot tolerate a CPAP. For more information, contact Elk Grove Family Dental today.

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