Sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous disorder with fairly benign symptoms: loud snoring at night, and morning headaches or daytime bouts of sleepiness. The cause is intermittent periods throughout sleep when you actually stop breathing.

Breathing cessation, or apnea, lasts from seconds to nearly a minute. When breathing resumes, the brain senses lack of oxygen and wakes you up. Snoring is loud, sometimes explosive. In the morning, the buildup of carbon dioxide in the blood causes headaches. The lack of deep sleep has you drowsy and grouchy during the day.

During sleep apnea, the upper air passages in the mouth and throat are obstructed. One form of treatment is to wear an acrylic mouth appliance during sleep to keep air passages open. It's comfortable and easy to use.

If you have other symptoms of sleep apnea along with the snoring, we'd like to discuss it with you when you come in. We can refer you to a specialist for evaluation.