What is Sleep Apnea

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Nothing Feels Better Than a Good Night’s Sleep

Are you noticing you aren’t able to do the things you used to because you’re simply too tired? It doesn’t have to stay that way! 

Maybe you’ve researched sleep apnea in the past, even been diagnosed and prescribed a CPAP, and you’re still not happy with your treatment; that’s okay! We are here to help get you the treatment that is best – treatment that works.

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep. These interruptions, known as apneas, can cause a range of health issues and disrupt your sleep patterns. Poor sleep can lead to a range of negative health outcomes.

Sleep Better Des Moines offers oral device therapy as an effective sleep apnea treatment.

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What is Sleep Apnea?

How does it work and what types could be affecting you.


Common Symptoms

Being tired isn’t the only common symptom of an undiagnosed condition!


Risk Factors

Are you lifestyle and health putting you at risk?

Sleep Apnea Defined

So, What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where breathing during sleep repeatedly starts and stops, sometimes for extended periods of time. This interruption of oxygen to the brain and body causes many downstream effects, including the inability to get a full, restful night of sleep.

Common Types of Sleep Apnea

To learn about sleep apnea, you should understand the different types.
There are two common types of sleep apnea which are the most common:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA):

OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea. This occurs when the muscles at the back of your throat relax excessively, leading to airway blockage. OSA can be effectively treated by oral device therapy.

Central Sleep Apnea (CSA):

CSA is less common and happens when your brain does not send the correct signals to the muscles that control breathing. In addition to these two types, there is complex sleep apnea syndrome, also known as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea. This is a combination of both OSA and central sleep apnea.

Impact of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious condition due to the potential health risks it poses. It involves recurrent interruptions in breathing during sleep, which can lead to various issues:

Cardiovascular Problems

Daytime Fatigue

Cognitive Impairment

Increased Accident Risk

Worsening of Preexisting Conditions

Reduced Quality of Life

Given these serious health consequences, it’s essential to recognize the condition, seek a diagnosis, and explore treatment options. Professional guidance, like that offered at Sleep Better Des Moines, can help manage or treat sleep apnea effectively, reducing its potential risks.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Being tired all the time isn’t the norm! Our team can help you understand what’s going on and get you back to the things you love. Being tired isn’t the only symptom of undiagnosed sleep apnea either, the symptoms below can indicate you have an airway issue, and it’s time to look for treatment!

Loud and Chronic Snoring

Sleep Apnea Events

Excessive Daytime Fatigue

Morning Headaches

Irritability and Mood Changes

Restless Sleep


Dry Mouth

Sore Throat

Frequent Nighttime Urination

Decreased Libido

Difficulty Paying Attention

If you display one or more of these symptoms, it may indicate that you have a sleep disorder. A medical evaluation and at-home sleep test can accurately determine if you suffer from sleep apnea and guide an effective treatment plan.

Risk Factors

There are several factors that can put you at high risk of sleep apnea.
The most common risk factors are:


Excess weight, especially around the neck and throat, can narrow the airway, increasing the risk of sleep apnea.

Older Age:

Sleep apnea is more common in older adults, especially over the age of 60.

Family History of Sleep Apnea:

If your family members have sleep apnea, your risk may be higher due to potential genetic factors.


Smoking can increase inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway, making it more likely to collapse during sleep.

Alcohol or Sedative Use:

These substances relax the muscles in your throat, increasing the risk of airway obstruction.

Anatomical Factors:

Having an enlarged tongue, tonsils, or a small jaw can contribute to airway constriction during sleep.

Lifestyle Factors:

A sedentary lifestyle or consuming a diet high in processed foods can contribute to obesity and, in turn, sleep apnea.

Medical Conditions:

Conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disorders are associated with a higher risk of sleep apnea.


Sleep apnea is more common in some ethnicities, such as African Americans, Hispanics, and Pacific Islanders.


Men are more likely to develop sleep apnea than women, although the risk for women increases if they are overweight and after menopause.

These risk factors do not always result in sleep apnea. Combining multiple risk factors together can elevate the chance of sleep apnea. If these factors are present, monitoring symptoms can help you determine if it is worth being evaluated by a sleep professional.

Oral Device Sleep Apnea Treatments

Oral device therapy is a non-invasive treatment for sleep apnea. These customized devices work by adjusting the positioning of the jaw and tongue to prevent airway blockage during sleep. This leads to improved airflow, reducing the incidence of sleep apnea events and enabling patients to enjoy restful sleep without the need for CPAP machines.

Most patients tolerate these devices well. It is a comfortable solution that removes the hassle of other sleep apnea treatments on the market today

Our dentists offer these treatments and are passionate about providing alternative treatments that can be life-changing.


Learn More About Sleep Apnea in Central Iowa

Sleep Better Des Moines offers patient-friendly sleep apnea treatments in the central Iowa area. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation. One of our sleep professionals will meet with you to determine what sleep apnea treatment is right for you.

Our team will listen to you, care for you, and find the treatment you need.

How many tests do I need to take to get treated for sleep apnea?
In most cases, one at-home sleep test allows our sleep professionals to provide an effective diagnosis. In certain situations, multiple tests or an in-lab test may be required. Our dentists will be transparent about when testing requires a more complex cadence. One at-home test will allow our team to treat sleep apnea in most cases. These tests monitor oxygen levels, movement, heart rate, and more in the comfort of your own home to help gather data leading to an accurate diagnosis. You likely will find this test to be cost-effective, convenient, and easy to schedule. Start by scheduling a consultation today.
Where can I find sleep apnea treatments in central Iowa?
Sleep Better Des Moines is right in the heart of central Iowa. Our office specifically treats sleep apnea through oral device therapy. This specialization allows us to offer our patients with great results. The team’s patient-friendly approach is a leader in Iowa, and we are committed to improving lives for those who live in the general area. Call us today to schedule a consultation. Our team will meet with you, schedule an at-home test, provide an accurate diagnosis, and offer a treatment plan to address your sleep apnea or snoring condition.