Facts about Sleep Apnea

Sleepless in America

People with undiagnosed sleep apnea have a higher incidence of obesity, heart conditions, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, high cholesterol, stroke and snoring. We're providing you with a solution through our APP-NEA treatment network, where you can find certified providers who can help you or a loved one with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). If you've been diagnosed with OSA, click here to search our Find a Provider network for a sleep dentist. If you're not sure if you have OSA, you can review the educational information on this page and visit our Find a Provider network to set an appointment with a sleep physician. Take action now, and you'll be one step closer to better sleep and improved health.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

The National Sleep Foundation shares that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – an often-undiagnosed sleeping disorder – creates pauses in a person’s breathing that lead to snoring and restless nights. That resulting decrease in sleep quantity and quality that can effect your overall health and day-to-day activities.

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs during sleep when muscles relax, including those that control the tongue and throat.  Snoring is often a symptom of OSA caused by changes in your upper airway while you sleep. Your soft tissue may vibrate (commonly known as snoring) or it may completely collapse causing you to stop breathing. The soft tissue at the back of throat can sag, narrowing and constricting the airway. Collapsing of the soft tissue is called an Obstructive Apnea and may last for 10 seconds or more and occur throughout the night.

How Does an Obstruction Happen

Normal airway

When you have a normal airway, air flows unobstructed, allowing you to breathe easily and with no interruptions.

Obstructed airway

An airway can become obstructed due to gravity and relaxation of muscles, causing the soft tissue in the throat to interrupt your breathing while asleep.

How Does one treat an Obstruction

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

CPAP machines pressurizes air into your airway through a mask worn over your nose - or sometimes over your nose and mouth - keeping the airway open and preventing a collapse.

Oral appliance therapy

An oral appliance is worn in your mouth and custom fitted by a sleep dentist. The appliance is positioned to move your lower jaw forward, comfortably keeping your airway unobstructed so you can breathe easily.

How Can an APP-NEA Credentialed Dentist Help Me?

Dentist Help Me

APP-NEA credentialed dentists go thru a thorough credentialing process and advanced education and APP-NEA certified dentists receive the most extensive training in the profession to screen for and treat sleep-related breathing disorders when appropriate as per AASM guidelines with an oral appliance — a more convenient, non invasive option than the CPAP mask and surgery. This training provides them with the knowledge and skills needed to provide both the home sleep test and the oral appliance. Because of this, patients can opt to undergo a screening for sleep apnea during a regularly scheduled hygiene or dental visit. After screening results are reviewed by the credentialed dentist and may refer the patient to a partner APP-NEA credentialed sleep physician or a in-home sleep test for diagnosis and to determine if an oral appliance will alleviate the patient’s symptoms

• APP-NEA credentialed dentists are extensively trained to address most cases of sleep related breathing disorders with OAT (Oral Appliance Therapy)

• In most cases home sleep testing eliminates need for an overnight visit to a sleep lab

• Screening is easy to schedule with a dentist who can even screen over a telemedicine appointment

If the home sleep test results indicate the patient will benefit from the oral appliance, the APP-NEA credentialed dentist can then take an impression or a scan of the teeth and mouth to create a mold for a custom appliance and using deep machine learning and patented predictive algorithms determine the optimal therapeutic jaw position for effective oral appliance therapy without the need for any adjustments in most cases. Once the custom made oral appliance has been made the patient visits the dentists office to insert the custom oral appliance.

• The oral appliance is custom made retainer like devices that fit the patient’s teeth and jaw and are positioned for maximum continuous passive airway. No electricity or batteries needed like with CPAP

• Portable for easy and convenient travel as it fits inside an orthodontic retainer case

• No dry or itchy nose or throat often associated with CPAP

• Unlike the CPAP which is loud and noisy, the oral appliance is silent and will not disrupt partners’ sleep

• Oral appliance therapy can be much less expensive initially and over long period of time and more convenient than both CPAP and surgery

• Unlike with CPAP, with oral appliances there is no need for a daily sterilization process or monthly replacement of masks and hoses

• Home Sleep Test (HST) is ordered by an APP-NEA credentialed dentist in collaboration with a partner HST provider or a partner sleep physician.

How Can an APP-NEA Credentialed Physician Help Me?

Physician Help Me

APP-NEA credentialed physicians have the training and knowledge needed to screen patients for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and determine the best possible treatment method. As sleep physicians, they are equipped to diagnose and treat OSA and also other related serious conditions. And like APP-NEA credentialed dentists in partnership with network physicians, physicians can prescribe in-home sleep tests, a more convenient alternative to visiting a sleep lab.

If the test results show signs of mild to moderate OSA or a patient can't use their CPAP for the recommended amount of time to be therapeutically beneficial, the physician will refer the patient to an APP-NEA credentialed dentist for oral appliance therapy. Similarly if an APP-NEA credentialed dentist positively screens a patient for OSA, they will refer to a partner physician or home sleep study provider for diagnosis and to discuss appropriate treatment. Physicians in APP-NEA network are also equipped to recognize and treat OSA related conditions like diabetes, heart disease and depression and can explore preventative measures for patients at risk of developing these conditions or offer treatment for patients who already suffer from these problems.

APP-NEA network of Physicians are trained to:

• Recognize symptoms of sleep apnea

• Can provide take-home sleep tests

• Can refer patients to an APP-NEA network dentist for oral appliance therapy

• Can treat OSA related conditions, like obesity, heart failure, diabetes, and depression

Search for a doctor and schedule an appointment today.

Want to learn more about Sleep Apnea?

Download the ebook “Understanding Sleep Apnea and Snoring” sponsored by our partner, SomnoMed


Do You Have Any Of These Symptoms?

If you or a loved one have OSA or display a combination of the symptoms listed, treatment is essential. Simply take our Apnea Risk Evaluation Screening tests below, and use our Find a Provider directory to find an APP-NEA recommended sleep physician or dentist near you.



Restless Sleep

Interrupted Sleep

Witnessed Apneas (stopping of breathing during sleep followed by gasping of breath)

Risk factors





Daytime tiredness

Observed Apneas (pause in breathing during sleep)

Recent Heart Attack

For a full list of symptoms and risk factors, click here.

How Does Untreated Sleep Apnea Affect Your Body

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Are you at risk for sleep apnea?

Now, you can conduct your own self-screening exam using the sleep apnea screening tool below. Find out if you are at risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

After completing either sleep apnea screening questionnaires, you will receive the results via email so you may print or view on your mobile device in order to discuss treatment options with your healthcare provider.

How sleep deprived are you?


What's your risk for sleep apnea?


Get tips on talking to your doctor about sleep apnea

Talking to your physician about obstructive sleep apnea doesn't have to be hard. Undiagnosed sleep apnea is an serious medical condition that the medical community is actively working to solve, as it leads to an increase in other complicated medical conditions.

Click below for tips on how to initiate the sleep apnea conversation with your physician.


Find a provider near you, and take the next step towards better health and a good night's rest


1 Benjafield AV, Ayas NT, Eastwood PR, et al. Estimation of the global prevalence and burden of obstructive sleep apnoea: a literature-based analysis. Lancet Respir Med. 2019;7(8):687‐698. doi:10.1016/S2213-2600(19)30198-5.