Do I Have Sleep Apnea if I Snore?

Sleep apnea with snoring is a common sleep disorder that is linked to systemic health conditions and causes chronic fatigue. In the past, sleep apnea often went undiagnosed and untreated. Today, however, patients have access to treatment through a sleep apnea specialist who can determine the underlying cause of sleep apnea and offer treatment solutions that work for a patient’s individual needs.

Sleep Apnea: Causes and Symptoms (Snoring)

While snoring is one of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea, snoring can occur without apnea as well. Other common symptoms of sleep apnea include memory loss, headaches in the morning, and irritability. Patients with untreated sleep apnea are essentially robbed a good night’s rest because soft oral tissues collapse into airways and obstruct a patient’s ability to breathe for short periods of time during sleep. To offset the cessation of breath during sleep, the brain sends signals to the body to wake the sleeper slightly to reinitiate the breathing cycle. This cycle of breathing cessation and wakefulness can occur hundreds of times throughout the night and prevents a sleeper from naturally progressing through the various stages of sleep that promote rejuvenation and adequate rest. 
While snoring is one of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea, snoring can occur without apnea as well.

Dr Wolford Cpap Mask

Diagnosing and Treating Sleep Apnea

The only way to know for sure if a patient has sleep apnea is for the patient to undergo a sleep study. During a sleep study, patients’ sleep activity and brain waves are monitored closely for signs of sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. Once sleep apnea has been diagnosed, patients can visit a sleep apnea specialist for treatment.

Sleeping Without Snoring

Treatment methods may involve the use of a CPAP mask, which emits a steady stream of air into the oral cavity to prevent soft tissues from blocking air passageways. Some patients also benefit from custom oral appliances that gently reposition the jaw during sleep to keep airways open. In some cases, minor surgery alleviates the causes of sleep apnea as well.

If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact Dr. Larry Wolford’s office using our online contact form or call 214-828-9115

Condylar hyperplasia (CH) is a generic term describing enlargement of the condyle.  There are a number of different condylar pathologies that enlarge the mandibular condyle, with subsequent adverse effects on the morphology and function of the TMJ and mandible.  This may result in the development or worsening of a dentofacial deformity such as; mandibular prognathism (symmetric or asymmetric), and unilateral enlargement of the condyle, ramus, and body, facial asymmetry and malocclusion. 

Wolford has developed a simple, but encompassing classification that will allow the clinician to better understand the nature of the various CH pathologies, progression, and treatment options that have proven to eliminate the pathological process and provide optimal functional and esthetic outcomes.  The classification (Table 2 and Figure 29) also begins with the most common occurring form of CH and progresses to the least common occurring form.

CH Type 1:  This condition develops during puberty, is an accelerated and prolonged growth aberration of the normal condylar growth mechanism, is self-limiting but can grow into the 20’s, and can occur bilaterally (CH Type 1A) or unilaterally (CH Type 1B).

CH Type 2:  These condylar pathologies can develop at any age (although 2/3s develop in the 2nd decade), are unilateral condylar vertical and/or horizontal over-growth deformities, and are the most common occurring mandibular condylar tumors; osteochondroma (CH Type 2A) and less common osteoma (CH Type 2B).

CH Type 3:  These are other rare benign causing condylar enlargement. 

CH Type 4:  These are malignant conditions that can cause condylar enlargement.

The more common forms of CH (Types 1 and 2) will be presented relative to the clinical and radiographic findings, growth characteristics, effects on the jaws and facial structures, histology, and treatment considerations that are highly predictable in the elimination of the pathology and provide optimal treatment outcomes. 

FIGURE 29 Description

A-C) normal TMJ with balanced joint spaces.
D-F) CH Type 1 with relatively normal condylar shape, elongated condylar head and neck, and narrow joint space related to thin articular disc or displaced disc.  In the coronal view the condylar head is more rounded.
G-I) CH Type 2Av; an osteochondroma with a vertical growth vector without significant horizontal condylar enlargement or exophytic horizontal growth. This is a “young” osteochondroma with only about 3 years of growth.
J-L) CH Type 2Ah; an osteochondroma with horizontal (as well as vertical) enlargement of the condyle and exophytic outgrowth of the tumor. This tumor has been present for 6 years. Notice the significant increased vertical height of the mandibular body and ramus.

FIGURE 29