What Causes Sleep Apnea?

There are many factors that could cause sleep apnea, such as poor health, lifestyle choices, and medical conditions. If you feel that you have signs of sleep apnea, you might want to get in touch with a sleep apnea dentist in Ringoes, NJ. To know more about the cause and effects of this condition, here are some notes to help you further understand.

a woman with obstructive sleep apnea needing to see a Sleep Apnea Dentist in Ringoes NJ

Lifestyle Factors That Can Lead to Sleep Apnea


One of the most common factors that can lead to sleep apnea is obesity. This happens when the soft tissue of the mouth and throat are pressed against the fat deposits in a person’s neck, blocking the airway during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is a common diagnosis among people who are suffering from obesity.  

Family History

Studies have shown that sleep apnea is attributable to genetics and family history. While central sleep apnea cannot be genetically passed down, obstructive sleep apnea seems to show a clear genetic link. The risk of developing sleep apnea is consequently related to the number of first-degree relatives that have this condition.

Nasal Congestion

Having chronic nasal congestion at night can amplify the effects of obstructive sleep apnea. Nasal congestion can narrow the airways when you sleep and obstruct the airflow when you breathe. People who suffer from nasal congestion due to allergies are more likely to develop some form of sleep apnea as time passes by.  

Biological Sex

With the help of population-based studies, research has shown that certain types of sleep apnea are more prevalent in men than in women. While there is twice the number of men who suffer from sleep apnea than women, the risk of developing this condition in women appears to rise after menopause or if they're overweight. Although the exact mechanisms are unknown, biological sex plays a significant role in the development of sleep apnea.

Medical Conditions

Having any underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and acid reflux may increase the risk of obstructive sleep apnea. Tracing your medical history and having a physical exam can help identify the causes of your sleep apnea. Treating your medical conditions may reduce the effects and improve your sleeping habits.


People who indulge in smoking are more likely to develop some form of sleep apnea as compared to those who don’t. Lower blood oxygen saturation during sleep is one of the causes of sleep apnea among smokers. Smoking cigarettes also increases the severity of sleep apnea for those who already have it.

How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?

The first step to treat it is to see your dentist. Here are other methods that you can try to lessen the effects of sleep apnea:  

  • Using a CPAP machine (continuous positive airway pressure)
  • Using a mandibular repositioning device
  • Positional therapy  
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Weight loss
  • Quitting smoking
  • Drinking less alcohol

a man needing to see a Sleep Apnea Dentist in Ringoes NJ

Do You Need to See a Sleep Apnea Dentist in Ringoes NJ?

If you want to have your sleep apnea checked, we’re here for you. Here at River Valley Dental, our mission is to help you overcome all your dental needs. Give us a call to learn more about our services.