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About Obstructive Sleep Apnea

exhausted man falling asleep at workDo you snore? Knowing can be difficult, unless you sleep with a partner or at live with a roommate or family. Then again, if you live alone, then your snoring wouldn’t be a problem for anyone, right? Not entirely. While sometimes a snore is just a snore, the loud distraction can sometimes indicate a more serious condition that can have resounding effects. Obstructive sleep apnea, which is characterized by loud snoring, can deprive your mind and body of oxygen and rest, leading to a host of health problems that can drastically reduce your overall quality of life. To help you determine if you should be worried about your snoring, your Urbandale dentist, Dr. Jessica Lawson, explains a little bit about obstructive sleep apnea, and the symptoms that could warn you of its presence.

Is There a Difference Between Snoring and Sleep Apnea?

Snoring and sleep apnea are related in that they are caused by the mechanisms. In a sense, the obstructive sleep disorder could technically be considered extreme snoring. When you sleep, the tissues in your mouth and throat can relax enough to obstruct your airway. Snoring is the sound of air escaping through the tighter space. In some cases, the tissues can compress tightly enough to completely close your airway and stop your breathing, until your body panics and wakens enough to start breathing again. These episodes only last about ten seconds, sometimes longer, but they can occur hundreds of times a night and prevent your body from falling into the deep, soothing REM stages of sleep that your mind and body need to recuperate.

How Do You Know if It’s More than Snoring?

Sleep apnea is typically first noticed through its myriad signs and side-effects of sleep deprivation. Common symptoms of sleep apnea can include, but are not limited to:

  • Loud, seemingly exaggerated, snoring
  • Daytime sleepiness, even when you believe you are sleeping soundly at night
  • Problems with concentration
  • Trouble with short and long-term memory
  • Repetitive headaches, including migraines
  • And other common symptoms of sleep deprivation


Jessica Lawson, DDS, and her caring, compassionate family dentistry professionals proudly serve patients of all ages from Urbandale, IA, as well as Johnston, Grimes, Waukee, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, you can call the Lawson Family Dentistry office today at (515) 278-4366.

Do You Have An Uneven Smile?

Dr. Lawson and our team want to help you enjoy a more even and healthy smile. To learn more about our clear and esthetically-pleasing orthodontic solutions, schedule a consultation by:

calling our dentistry office in Urbandale, IA, at 515-278-4366.

We also serve residents of Waukee, Grimes, Johnston, and Clive, IA.

Book your next appointment with us

  • Healthy Start Patient Form

  • Sleep Disordered Breathing Questionnaire for Children

    The initial column should be filled out at first appointment. Please identify the following symptoms your child exhibits with the scale indicating severity of symptoms.

    Not Present: 0
    Mild: 1-2
    Moderate: 3
    Pronounced: 4-5
  • Does your child:

  • (If yes, fill out speech questionnaire below)
  • Speech Questionnaire

    To be filled out only if #27 was indicated above
  • Please check all that apply to your child