Sleep Apnea

Perio Health Professionals

Board Certified Periodontists located in Houston, TX

Sleep apnea is one of the most common problems that can interfere with sleep and cause decision-making issues, slowed reflexes, and an increase in your risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. If you believe that sleep apnea is the cause of your daytime sleepiness, seek help from the specialists at Perio Health Professionals in Houston today. Call or reach out to us via e-mail to schedule an appointment.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

Perio Health Professionals

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder characterized by repetitive and brief interruptions in your breathing while you sleep, with each interruption lasting around 10 seconds. Though you’re asleep and unaware they’re occurring, you do partially awaken during these episodes.

There are three types of sleep apnea:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea: occurs when your throat muscles relax
  • Central sleep apnea: happens when your brain doesn't send the right signals to the muscles that control your breathing
  • Complex sleep apnea syndrome: a combination of both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea


Excessive daytime sleepiness is the most common symptom of sleep apnea. Additional symptoms include:

  • Restless sleep
  • Loud snoring often followed by gasps
  • Morning headaches
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Forgetfulness
  • Mood or behavior changes, including anxiety and depression

How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

The two most common ways to diagnose sleep apnea are:

Sleep evaluation with a sleep specialist

You spend the night in a sleep laboratory with a trained technologist monitoring several of your body functions while you sleep, including:

  • The electrical activity of your brain
  • Eye movements
  • Muscle activity
  • Heart rate
  • Breathing patterns
  • Airflow
  • Blood oxygen levels

Home Sleep Test (HST)

If one of the doctors at Perio Health Professionals suspects that you suffer from moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, they will recommend an HST, which is a modified sleep study done in the comfort of your own home. A machine that you set up records a number of your body functions while you sleep, including:

  • Airflow
  • Breathing effort
  • Blood oxygen levels
  • Snoring

How is sleep apnea treated?

Your treatment options are based on your medical history and the severity of your diagnosis. Most treatment regimens begin with lifestyle changes, including:

  • Avoiding alcohol, sedatives, and muscle relaxants
  • Losing weight
  • Quitting smoking
  • Special pillows that prevent you from sleeping on your back

The doctors at Perio Health Professionals can fit you with an oral appliance that keeps your airway open while you sleep, as well as with positive airway pressure machines that include a face mask attached to a tube and device that blows pressurized air into the mask and through the airway to keep it open. The amount of pressurized air varies from continuous, variable, and automatic airway pressure.

There are also surgical procedures to remove tissue and widen your airway. It is not uncommon to need a combination of therapies to successfully treat your sleep apnea.

If you believe that sleep apnea is causing your daytime sleepiness, call or reach out to us via e-mail to schedule an appointment at Perio Health Professionals in Houston.

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