The Merrell Clinic

Of the general adult population in middle age, 93% of women and 82% of men with moderate to severe sleep apnea syndrome have not been clinically diagnosed. Sleep apnea is even less likely to be diagnosed in the older population. Unrecognized sleep-disordered breathing is linked to motor vehicle accident occurrence in the general population and may account for a significant proportion of motor vehicle accidents. Dentistry can play an important role in the recognition and treatment of this disease continuum in cooperation with your physician(s).


When you breathe normally, air passes through the nose and past the flexible structures in the back of the throat such as the soft palate, uvula and tongue. While you are awake, muscles hold the airway open. When you fall asleep, these muscles relax but, normally, the airway stays open.

Abnormal throat Snoring is the sound of obstructed breathing during sleep. While snoring can be harmless (benign snoring), it can also be the sign of a more serious medical condition, which progresses from upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) to obstructive sleep apnea. (OSA)

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