Experienced Dentist in St. Louis
Caring & Skilled Dental Sleep Medicine Helping Those Suffering from Sleep Apnea

Do You Have to be Overweight to Have Sleep Apnea?

One of the most prevalent myths regarding sleep apnea is that being obese or overweight is a predictor for those who might develop this chronic condition. While issues with weight is one risk factor, the truth is that anyone, thin or overweight, can suffer from sleep apnea. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), millions of individuals have sleep apnea and as many as 90% of them are likely unaware of it. This is often due to the fact that people generally believe that, if they are not overweight, it is impossible to have this condition, even if the symptoms they are experiencing indicate otherwise.

Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea

As mentioned above, being overweight is only one risk factor. There are several different factors that can increase a person’s likelihood of developing sleep apnea, which includes:

  • A family history of the condition
  • Being male
  • Being 40 years old or more
  • A wide neck circumference
  • Large tonsils or lots of soft tissue on the soft palate area
  • A small jaw and  large tongue
  • A diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux
  • A deviated septum or other sinus issues
  • Persistent struggles with respiratory allergy symptoms

As you can see, many factors other than weight can result in a person suffering from sleep apnea. If you suspect you have this condition, it is important to seek a diagnosis and learn how you might be able to treat it.

Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

If you are not sure what symptoms are associated with this condition, take a look at this brief overview of some of the most common sleep apnea symptoms:

  • Loud snoring
  • Waking up suddenly and not knowing why
  • Not feeling rested despite getting a full night of sleep
  • A sore throat or dry mouth in the morning
  • Feeling drowsy or irritable during the day
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Changes in mood
  • Decreased libido

St. Louis Sleep Apnea Dentist

At James Lillenberg DDS PC, we provide dental solutions for sleep apnea sufferers that allow them to restore their ability to enjoy deep and restful sleep. If you are experiencing the uncomfortable symptoms of sleep apnea and wish to put an end to it, we offer a variety of treatments and methods, such as breathing devices, oral appliances, and surgery.

Call our office today at (314) 227-9141 and schedule an appointment to find out which is right for you.