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For weeks now, you’ve been exhausted, but you can’t figure out why. You don’t snore, so you couldn’t possibly be suffering from sleep apnea – could you? While snoring is the symptom most people associate with this serious disorder, you don’t have to be a noisy sleeper to be afflicted with this condition. In this post, learn about the other signs and symptoms, as well as how dental sleep apnea therapy in Encinitas from the team at McElroy Smiles By Design, can give you the rest you deserve.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Dr. Greg McElroy explains that sleep apnea is the second most common sleep disorder, right after insomnia. Most people who have this suffer from obstructive sleep apnea – when you sleep, your tongue and lower jaw relax, sliding against the back of your throat and preventing you from breathing correctly.

Since your body is wise enough to know you’re not getting the oxygen you need, you’ll wake up, but often not remember it. Your brain will make you only conscious enough to start breathing properly and these “micro-arousals” can happen hundreds of times a night – leaving you exhausted, but without knowing why

What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea has many common symptoms:

  • Gaps or elongated pauses in breathing when you sleep – usually noticed by your partner.
  • Waking up gasping for air or with an asthma attack.
  • Waking up to urinate.
  • Morning headaches.
  • Exhaustion, even after sleeping 8 or more hours.
  • Sleepiness while driving.
  • Craving carbs and sweets for energy.
  • Depression, irritability, forgetfulness, and trouble concentrating.
  • Decreased interest in sex.

If I Don’t Snore, Is My Sleep Apnea Still Dangerous?

Yes. Sleep apnea may seem like it can be taken lightly, especially if you don’t snore, but untreated sleep apnea can have serious ramifications to your health. This condition can cause many health issues, including:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Cardiac Arrest
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Heart attack
  • Sudden Death
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Car Accidents

How Can I Find Out If I Have Sleep Apnea?

If you think you might be affected by sleep apnea, talk with our team or your doctor today – don’t wait. Review these risk factors or take this sleep apnea quiz. After a sleep study, you’ll get the answers you need to address your sleep problem.

Are There Dental Treatments For Sleep Apnea?

If you’re diagnosed with this sleep disorder, you’ll most likely be prescribed a CPAP machine. Since the tubing can be cumbersome, and the air that’s forced into your airways all night long can be uncomfortable, many people stop using their CPAP machines – and no treatment is effective if patients don’t use it.

Rather than putting your health at risk by leaving this condition untreated, Dr. McElroy can fit you for a 100% customized oral appliance that will shift your lower jaw and tongue out of the way while you sleep. This device is similar to a nightguard, exceedingly comfortable, and much more economical than a CPAP machine. And, it’s effective – custom oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea works well for about 80% of patients.

Now that you know that sleep apnea doesn’t always equal snoring, schedule your appointment with McElroy Smiles By Design and sleep like a baby again!


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Encinitas Dentist for Teeth Cleanings, Pain-Free Dental Care, Gum Treatment, Dentures, Dental Implants, Invisalign, Teeth Whitening, Veneers, & More – Serving Encinitas, Carlsbad, San Marcos, Vista, Oceanside, Solana Beach, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, Escondido & San Diego, CA

Your Top-Rated Dentist in Encinitas, CA

"This is a fantastic Dentist, McElroy and the associates in the office are amazing. Our daughters enjoy every time they are here. Very good practice, highly suggested!!"

- Cody H.

"I would definitely recommend Smiles By Design dental office to anyone who is looking for a personable, honest, thorough, and professional dentist. Dr. McElroy and his staff make you feel so comfortable, you forget you are at the dentist!! Highly recommend!"

- Kelly C.

"Had my first appointment at McElroy smiles by design, and the staff was so friendly and informative. It was an enjoyable experience and I plan on going back in the future."

- Isaac W.

"Thanks to everyone in the office! Great service and very punctual. Dr.McElroy is a wonderful dentist, he is very professional and friendly. He does what it takes to do the job perfectly— even if it requires extra time. I needed a lot of work when I first came to the office, but now when its all done, I love the outcome and my new smile! I am stoked!!"

- Wera S.

*The reviews listed are from actual patients of McElroy Smiles. Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.

What To Expect On Your First Visit

Dr. McElroy is excited to provide you a $99 new patient special!


Discuss Your Goals With Dr. McElroy


Thorough Exam & Professional Cleaning


Digital X-Rays


Discuss Your Potential Treatment Options


Bonus: Free copy of Dr. McEroy’s Book