Karen J Harris, DMD & Associates

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea, a common but serious sleep disorder, affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by interrupted breathing or shallow breaths while sleeping. These pauses in breathing can occur repeatedly throughout the night, disrupting your sleep and leading to various health issues.

If you suspect that you have any symptoms related to this disorder, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional who specializes in treating sleep apneas. Remember we do not diagnose but provide oral appliances for patients suffering from these disorders. Our team is always here to help you.

Types of Sleep Apnea in St. Louis, MO

Sleep apnea in St. Louis, MO, is a sleep disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It is important to understand the different types of sleep apnea in order to seek appropriate treatment. 

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA):The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This occurs when the muscles in the throat relax and block the airway during sleep. As a result, breathing becomes shallow or completely stops for brief periods throughout the night.
  • Central Sleep Apnea (CSA):Another type of sleep apnea is central sleep apnea (CSA). Unlike OSA, CSA occurs when the brain fails to send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. This leads to interrupted airflow and can also cause pauses in breathing while sleeping.
  • Complex or Mixed Sleep Apnea:Complex or mixed sleep apnea is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apneas. Individuals with complex sleep apnea may experience episodes where their airways become blocked due to the relaxation of throat muscles, as well as interruptions in respiratory drive from their brain.

It's important to note that regardless of which type one has, seeking professional help from a qualified healthcare provider such as Karen J Harris & Associates, who specializes in treating these conditions, should be your first step towards finding relief. Call us to learn more.

Causes and Risk Factors in St. Louis, MO

There are several factors that can contribute to the development of sleep apnea, a condition characterized by interrupted breathing during sleep. Understanding these causes and risk factors is crucial in diagnosing and treating the condition effectively.

  • Obesity: Excess weight around the neck area can obstruct the airway, leading to sleep apnea.
  • Age: As we age, our muscle tone decreases, including the muscles responsible for keeping our airways open during sleep.
  • Smoking:The chemicals in cigarettes can irritate the throat and lungs, increasing the likelihood of airway blockage.
  • Family History: Sleep apnea tends to run in families, suggesting a genetic component to its development.
  • Gender: Men are more likely than women to develop sleep apnea, although women's risk increases after menopause.
  • Alcohol Consumption: Drinking alcohol relaxes throat muscles and contributes to airflow obstruction during sleep.
  • Nasal Congestion: Allergies or sinus problems can make it difficult to breathe through your nose while sleeping, increasing the chances of developing sleep apnea.
  • Medical Conditions:Certain medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease have been associated with an increased risk of sleep apnea.

By understanding these causes and risk factors for sleep apnea, individuals can take proactive steps towards prevention or treatment if they suspect they may be at higher risk.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea in St. Louis, MO

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects millions of people around the world. While there are various types of sleep apnea, they all share one common symptom: interruptions in breathing during sleep.

  • One of the key symptoms of sleep apnea is loud and chronic snoring. This occurs when the airway becomes partially blocked, leading to vibrations as you breathe in and out. However, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea.
  • Another sign to watch out for is excessive daytime sleepiness or fatigue. People with untreated sleep apnea often find themselves feeling tired throughout the day, no matter how much rest they got the night before.
  • Other symptoms may include morning headaches, dry mouth or sore throat upon waking up, difficulty concentrating or remembering things, irritability or mood swings, and restless tossing and turning during sleep.

It's important to note that while these symptoms can be indicators of potential sleep apnea, a proper diagnosis should come from a healthcare professional specializing in this area. At Karen J Harris & Associates in St. Louis, MO., we do not diagnose sleep apnea but provide oral appliances as a treatment option for patients with diagnosed obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

If you suspect you have symptoms of sleep apnea like loud snoring or excessive daytime fatigue, it's essential to consult with medical professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating this condition properly. They can guide you through further testing options such as polysomnography (sleep study), which will determine if you indeed have sleep apneas. Remember that addressing any potential health concerns promptly is crucial for maintaining overall well-being.

Oral Appliances For Sleep Apnea in St. Louis, MO

At Karen J Harris & Associates, we understand the challenges faced by individuals diagnosed with sleep apnea. That's why we proudly provide a comprehensive range of solutions to improve their quality of life. One remarkable option that sets us apart is our state-of-the-art oral appliances, meticulously designed and tailored to address individual needs. These innovative devices offer a non-intrusive alternative to cumbersome CPAP machines, allowing patients to comfortably manage their condition while enjoying uninterrupted sleep. Our team of highly skilled professionals works closely with each patient, conducting thorough assessments and customizing these appliances for optimal effectiveness. With advanced technology and extensive expertise in dental sleep medicine, we ensure that our oral appliances not only alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea but also promote a healthier lifestyle overall. These oral appliances can also reduce the risk of serious health complications like cardiovascular disease or stroke linked to untreated obstructive sleep apnea. By entrusting your care to us at Karen J Harris & Associates, you can rest assured knowing you're receiving top-quality treatment tailored specifically for you.

    Remember that seeking timely treatment for sleep apnea is essential for improving both your quality of life and long-term health outcomes! So don't hesitate - take control of your well-being today! We also offer several financing options to make your visit hassle-free and affordable.

    Lifestyle Changes to Improve Sleep Apnea

    When it comes to managing sleep apnea, making certain lifestyle changes can greatly improve your symptoms and overall quality of sleep. While these changes may not be a substitute for professional treatment options like oral appliances provided by our dentist in St. Louis, MO, they can certainly complement the effectiveness of any prescribed treatments.

    • One important lifestyle change is maintaining a healthy weight. Excess weight can contribute to the narrowing of airways during sleep, which exacerbates sleep apnea symptoms. By adopting a nutritious diet and engaging in regular exercise, you can shed those extra pounds and reduce the severity of your condition.
    • Avoiding alcohol and sedatives before bedtime is another crucial step in managing sleep apnea. These substances relax the muscles in your throat, increasing the likelihood of airway blockages during sleep. Instead, opt for relaxation techniques or natural remedies that promote restful slumber.
    • Sleep position also plays a significant role in managing this condition. Sleeping on your side instead of your back helps keep your airways open throughout the night. Consider using specialized pillows or devices designed to encourage side sleeping if you struggle with staying off your back while asleep.
    • Creating a consistent bedtime routine can positively impact both the quality and quantity of your sleep. Establishing regular sleeping patterns trains your body to recognize when it's time to wind down and prepare for restorative slumber.

    Remember that while these lifestyle changes may alleviate some symptoms associated with sleep apnea, they should always be done under medical supervision alongside appropriate treatments recommended by professionals like Karen J Harris & Associates.


    Sleep apnea is a common yet serious sleep disorder that can have significant impacts on your overall health and well-being. It is important to be aware of the symptoms and risk factors associated with this condition so that you can seek appropriate treatment.

    If you are in St. Louis, MO, and suspect that you may be suffering from sleep apnea, it is essential to consult with a dental professional who specializes in sleep disorders like Karen J Harris & Associates. Remember that lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding alcohol and sedatives before bedtime, and sleeping on your side can also help improve the symptoms of sleep apnea.

    Don't let untreated sleep apnea disrupt your life any longer. Take action today by seeking professional help and exploring suitable treatment options. With proper management and support, you can regain restful nights filled with refreshing slumber!

    For all your dental needs along with expert advice on managing sleep disorders like sleep apnea in St. Louis, MO, contact Karen J Harris & Associates - Your trusted partners for optimal oral health!

    Get in touch with Karen J Harris & Associates at 2000 Locust, St. Louis, MO 63103, or call (314) 231-4893 to learn more about the perks of sleep apnea treatment.


    2000 Locust, St. Louis, MO 63103

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    Email: kharrisdmd@sbcglobal.net

    Phone: (314) 231-4893