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Steve Thompson DDS | Sleep Apnea in Collierville



Dr. Steve Thompson

General, Family, & Cosmetic Dentistry

Sleep Apnea


Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a breathing disorder, which occurs during sleep, due to the narrowing or total closure of the airway.

OSA is when the airway becomes completely blocked and breathing stops. The brain then detects the lack of oxygen and prompts a momentary arousal to draw breath. Although OSA sufferers may experience hundreds of apnea episodes per night, they are unlikely to remember any of them. In fact, if the sufferer lives alone or sleeps separately they may not be aware of their condition, even after many years.

Snoring can be a symptom of OSA  and is a noise created by the partial blocking of the airway. When you fall asleep your muscles relax, including those that control the tongue and throat. The soft tissue at the back of your throat can sag, narrowing the airway. Incoming air then makes the tissue at the rear roof of the mouth (the soft palate), the flap of skin hanging from the palate (uvula) and the throat vibrate – a sound we know as snoring.

Snoring is often no greater problem than the noise itself. However, loud snoring may be a sign of a more serious problem – OSA.



Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a life-threatening health problem that many people do not know about. Snoring is one of the primary signs that you may be suffering from OSA.

What is obstructive sleep apnea?

OSA is a condition in which you stop breathing while you sleep because your airway becomes blocked. In some people the blockage is caused by the muscles of the throat and mouth relaxing. It can also be caused by blockage in your nasal passages, too much tissue in the airway, or the structure of your jaw.

When you stop breathing your oxygen levels drop, your brain recognizes the danger, and you begin to wake up. You may not wake up entirely, but you wake up enough to adjust and start breathing again, and the you fall back asleep. This cycle can happen as many as 100 times an hour. Many people with OSA are not aware that this is happening at all.

If I don't notice it, why is OSA a problem?

Even though you don't notice waking up, OSA causes sleep deprivation and oxygen deprivation. Over time OSA can lead to deadly health problems including heart disease and strokes. Serious health problems caused by OSA can include:


  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Poor metabolism
  • Gastric reflux
  • Muscle pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Loss of short term memory
  • Cognitive impairment
  • ADD and ADHD
  • Mood swings/temperamental behavior
  • Severe anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Impotence


Before you develop the serious problems listed above, you may notice disturbing symptoms such as:

  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty breathing through your nose
  • Morning headaches
  • Foggy thinking
  • Mood swings
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Decreased performance on the job or at school
  • Insomnia
  • Waking up in the night choking or gasping for air
  • Chronic snoring

Seek relief from the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea with specialized treatment from Dr. Thompson. If you or a loved one may be losing sleep due to OSA, call or email [email protected] today for a consultation with our renowned sleep apnea dentist.

Collierville Dentist | Sleep Apnea. Steve Thompson is a Collierville Dentist.