Dental Tips |3 min read

Can a Deviated Septum Cause Sleep Apnea?

 A couple in bed. The male is snoring, and the female is covering her ears

You might have sleep apnea if you snore loudly or feel tired, even after a full night’s sleep.

The cause of this condition can vary widely, or even be a combination of issues.

To shed some light on this, we will look at the following:

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep.

There are several forms of sleep apnea, the most common being Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). This condition occurs when the throat muscles relax and block the airways.

Some of the more common symptoms are:

  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Awakening with a dry mouth
  • Morning headache
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness

What is a deviated septum?

A deviated septum occurs when the thin wall between your nasal passages is displaced to one side.

When a deviated septum is severe, it can block one side of the nose and reduce airflow, causing difficulty breathing.

If you are concerned about your sleep conditions or think you may have OSA, Call us at 301-570-2100 today to schedule an appointment.

Symptoms of a deviated septum

You can have deviated septum and not be aware of it. Many people show little to no symptoms at all.

  • Obstruction of one or both nostrils
  • Nosebleeds
  • Noisy breathing during sleep
  • Awareness of the nasal cycle
  • Preference for sleeping on a particular side
  • A “crooked” nose that visibly slants to one side
  • A nostril that’s clearly smaller than the other

Can a deviated septum cause sleep apnea?

The simple answer is NO! Some claim that a deviated septum can cause sleep apnea by restricting the nasal passage to your upper airway. However, this is not OSA.

What actually happens in these cases is that the patient already has an obstruction in their airway, and the restricted nasal passage worsens it.

The apnea increases and the symptoms become easier to notice.

So if anything, a deviated septum can help reveal sleep apnea in some patients, though it doesn’t cause the condition by itself.

Treatments and appliances for OSA

If you have mild sleep apnea, simple changes such as sleeping on your side may help keep the disorder away. If your condition is more severe, you’ll need higher-level treatments.

Dr. Amini can provide expert advice and treatment for sleep apnea.

Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD)

A Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) connects to the upper and lower teeth to move the jaw forward.

The MAD appliance looks like a mouthguard and can be customized or purchased in a general form.

Tongue-Stabilizing Device (TSD)

Tongue-Stabilizing Devices (TSDs) pull the tongue forward using suction.

Moving the tongue forward helps to help keep the tongue base from blocking the airway at the back of the mouth.

Do you think you may have sleep apnea?

Sleep disorders can negatively affect your physical and emotional health if left untreated.

Sleep testing can help you get the answers you need to receive the treatment you deserve.

If you are concerned about your sleep conditions or think you may have OSA, schedule an appointment.

Start your journey to more restful sleep TODAY.


Dr. Amini is proud to provide professional dentistry to Olney and the surrounding areas of Brookeville, Sandy Spring, Silver Spring, Rockville, and Gaithersburg.

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