Sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous condition that causes repeated pauses in breathing throughout the night. At ChapmanSmiles Orthodontics in Happy Valley, Oregon, Gary Chapman, DDS, performs several treatments for children and adults with sleep apnea. If loud snoring, morning headaches, or throat pain affects your quality of life, call ChapmanSmiles Orthodontics or schedule an appointment online today.

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What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that causes repeated pauses in breathing. Those with sleep apnea may find themselves gasping for air or snoring loudly during sleep. Others have no idea they have a sleep disorder until a partner, relative, or roommate addresses their symptoms.

Without treatment, sleep apnea can significantly diminish your sleep quality. The constant pauses in breath that sleep apnea causes may leave you feeling tired, unrested, and groggy when you wake up in the morning.

Sleep apnea also poses a threat to your overall health by raising your risk of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and stroke.

Are there different types of sleep apnea?

There are three types of sleep apnea that can affect children and adults:

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)

Obstructive sleep apnea happens when the muscles in the back of your throat relax, causing the tissue they support to collapse and block your airway.

OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea and affects people of all ages. Overweight men over the age of 40 are most at risk of OSA.

Central sleep apnea (CSA)

Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send the proper signals to your respiratory system to breathe.

Complex sleep apnea

While rare, complex sleep apnea happens when you have both OSA and CSA.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

While the symptoms of sleep apnea vary from person to person, the most common signs include:

  • Very loud snoring
  • Paused breathing during sleep
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Sore throat in the morning
  • Waking up with dry mouth
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritability from poor sleep
  • Awakening to gasping or choking

Anybody can develop sleep apnea, but the condition is more common in individuals who are overweight, use tobacco, or drink alcohol. A narrow palate or misaligned teeth and jaws can also increase your risk of sleep apnea.

What are the treatments for sleep apnea?

Dr. Chapman offers several treatments for sleep apnea, depending on your age and the severity of your condition:


Misaligned teeth or jaws can block your airway, leading to obstructive sleep apnea. Orthodontic treatments, such as braces or Invisalign® or Spark™ clear aligners, can reposition your teeth into correct alignment to improve your breathing.


An expander is a metal device that Dr. Chapman places in the palate of your upper arch to expand your jaw. The appliance has a portion that wraps around your molars to place gentle pressure on the upper jaw. Dr. Chapman most often recommends expanders for children with sleep apnea.

Mandibular advancement splint

A mandibular advancement splint is a custom-made oral appliance you wear to gently pull the jaw forward, which opens up your airway.

To learn more about sleep apnea and effective treatments, call ChapmanSmiles Orthodontics or schedule an appointment online now.