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The Different Types of Sleep Apnea

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Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects many people. Each type has unique symptoms and requires different treatment methods. Knowing the different types of sleep apnea can help you identify if you have this sleep disorder and get the appropriate treatment.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when you stop breathing for short periods during sleep. It can cause loud snoring, gasping, or choking sounds. There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. It occurs when your throat muscles intermittently relax and block your airway during sleep. This results in shallow breathing or pauses in breathing (apneas). OSA can happen many times throughout the night and can make it challenging to get a good night's rest.

Central Sleep Apnea

Central sleep apnea (CSA) is less common than OSA. It occurs when your brain doesn't send proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing. As a result, you may make no effort to breathe for short periods. CSA can also result in shallow breathing or pauses in breathing during sleep.

Complex or Mixed Sleep Apnea

Complex sleep apnea (composed of both central and obstructive components) is the most difficult to treat. It usually occurs in people with underlying health conditions, such as obesity or heart failure, which increase their risk for both types of sleep apnea.

Signs and Symptoms 

The signs and symptoms of sleep apnea can be subtle. They may be observed by a bed partner or family member rather than the person themselves. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Episodes of breathing cessation during sleep
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Awakening with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Morning headaches
  • Difficulty staying asleep (insomnia)
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (hypersomnia)
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • A decline in overall health and well-being


When untreated, sleep apnea can cause serious health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and depression. It is important to seek treatment if you suspect that you or a loved one has sleep apnea.

Oral Appliance Therapy

Dr. Buck is one of only a few dentists in Washington state to use a "neuromuscular" based sleep appliance to create the most comfortable and maximally effective oral appliance designed for sleep breathing problems.

To learn more about sleep apnea, Oral Appliance Therapy, or schedule an appointment with Dr. Buck, contact Balance Epigenetic Orthodontics at (425) 329-3142

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Epigenetic Orthodontics

Epigenetic Orthodontics can open and protect the airway enhancing breathing both during sleep and awake activities.

Dr. Buck practices a philosophy that integrates airway into all diagnosis and treatments. Dentistry has traditionally not considered the airway when planning dental treatments. Fortunately, today there is a rapidly growing movement that now recognizes how dentistry can have an impact on the airway which affects breathing during sleep. If dental treatments, including TMJ, orthopedic and orthodontics are well planned the result can be that the airway is protected or even enhanced. There is a clear link between underdeveloped and retruded jaws together with narrow dental arches that puts a patient at risk for sleep breathing disorders.

Please visit this site for more information; Airway Health

Airway Improvement

WOW! A 54% decrease in forward head posture; 164% increase in the antero-posterior size of the airway; 176% increase in the lateral size of the airway all from epigenetically centered jaw development orthopedics. This is the future of orthodontics!​
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