Sleep apnea is a chronic condition in which there are multiple pauses during your breathing or multiple shallow breaths while you are asleep.  Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. When your breathing pauses or becomes shallow, you'll often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep. 

As a result of obstructive sleep apnea, the quality of your sleep is poor, which makes you tired during the day. Sleep apnea is a leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness.Sleep apnea can lead to number of serious conditons and can be fatal. See the diagram at the bottom for details.

The picture on the left shows normal breathting where the airway is open, the picture on the right shows a blocked airway which disrupts your breathing.

Traditionally, physicians have treated this condition by prescribing that patients wear a CPAP device seen here. This appliance is cumbersome and patient compliance with this type of appliance is very poor.

Recent advances in the field have enabled dentists to make an ORAL APPLIANCE that can take place of the CPAP machine. This appliance is very small and simply fits around the teeth, as seen here.



Sleep apnea not only affects the quality of your sleep but also brings about a variety of changes in your body and can have very severe consequences, as seen in the diagram here.

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Dr. Karen Cheon graduated in 2014 from Loma Linda University School of Dentistry in southern California, and moved to Ann Arbor with her husband.

Dr. Karen Cheon believes that prevention is the most important aspect of good oral health, and that is her focus with every patient.  When restorative intervention is necessary, however, she strives to do the highest quality work with a focus on prevention and aesthetics. Aesthetics are an important of part of her work given the functional impact it can have on everyday life.  

She has had experience delivering care in developing countries as well as free clinics for communities in the US. She appreciates the privilege of being able to deliver high quality dental care to everyone. She resides in Ann Arbor with her husband and daughter. She enjoys mission trips, swimming, traveling, cooking and spending time with her family and friends.