Is Sleep Apnea Genetic?

Sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Yourdentist in Alabaster, AL, is a valuable first line of defense against sleep apnea since they routinely inspect the mouth and throat area during dental exams. One of the most common questions that patients ask their dentist is whether sleep apnea is genetic.

Is Sleep Apnea Genetic?
Many scientific studies have been done to determine the causes of sleep apnea. It’s been found that, while the actual condition may not be directly inherited, there are certain genetic conditions that can increase the likelihood of a person inheriting this condition. What this means is, if you have inherited certain conditions, you may have a higher chance of developing sleep apnea sometime during your lifetime.

What Genetic Conditions Can Lead to Sleep Apnea?
One form of sleep apnea, called obstructive sleep apnea, occurs as a direct result of obesity. Obesity can be brought on by several factors, including diabetes. So, if you have a family member with diabetes, with or without obesity, you may be at a higher risk of developing sleep apnea. In fact, it’s estimated that those who are obese have ten times more likelihood of experiencing sleep apnea.

The anatomy of the face can contribute to sleep apnea, too. Since the bone structure and general face anatomy are most certainly inherited, if you have a relative with sleep apnea, especially one that you resemble, you may have a larger chance of getting sleep apnea, too.

The general breathing process—how you breathe and how often—also impacts sleep apnea. Your internal organs are also formed through a close genetic link. Therefore, it can be concluded that if you have a relative with sleep apnea, you should consult with your dentist.

Talk to your dentist aboutsleep apnea in Alabaster, AL so that you can be screened and treated. Contact us today to book your appointment.