The Link between Sleep Apnea and Obesity

Cosmetic & Family Dentist Serving Salt Lake City, West Valley City, Draper & Nearby Utah

Posted: October 25, 2013
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Rates of obesity have increased substantially in recent years, and this increase in obesity is accompanied by a rise in rates of obstructive sleep apnea. Obesity is a major risk factor for sleep apnea, and many sleep apnea sufferers are overweight.

One of the most common causes of sleep apnea is obesity. If you are overweight, you may have excess fat tissue surrounding your airway and making it narrower. This narrowing of the airway blocks the flow of oxygen while you sleep, when your throat muscles relax and narrow your airway even more.

Sleep apnea can cause you to wake from sleep anywhere between 15 to hundreds of times during the night. This inability to get the sleep you need can lead to:

  • Increased risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke.
  • Less inclined to exercise, which is particularly important to someone who wants to lose weight.
  • Less inclined to cook or go to the effort to eat well, which can make it difficult to control your obesity.

If you think your weight may be contributing to sleep problems, you should discuss your concern with your doctor. Losing weight may reduce sleep apnea episodes. Sleep apnea is a serious health condition and you should arrange a medical evaluation if you think you are experiencing it.

If you are interested in a dental appliance to treat sleep apnea in Salt Lake City, please contact Warr Dental to schedule a consultation with our experienced dentist, Dr. Keith Warr.