struggling to get a good night's sleep because of sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that lowers your quality of sleep, which has a significant impact on the overall quality of your life. Our office is about total wellness and doing everything we can to make sure that you have a beautiful smile AND a healthy body. In recent years, there have been a lot of new studies on the effects of airway function on sleep, and overall health. If your airway is blocked or too small because of sleep apnea, you’re not getting the oxygen that your body needs to function, and we see a number of issues arise in both adults and children, as a result.

Sleep apnea and the Dentist

But wait…what does this have to do with dentistry!? Well, your airway starts in your mouth! Dr. Smitherman has undergone extensive training to be able to diagnose and treat airway, breathing, and sleep apnea issues in her patients, because she feels so passionately about the effects of sleep on her patient’s overall health.

Having trouble sleeping or breathing? Feeling tired, or experiencing other residual effects of poor sleep? Read on to find out about how we can help!

female patient sleeping soundly after sleep apnea treatment from Dr. Smitherman at Perspective Dental in Austin, TX
male patient sleeping soundly after sleep apnea treatment from Dr. Smitherman at Perspective Dental in Austin, TX

How do oxygen levels affect sleep?

When oxygen levels in the blood drop, your body responds by releasing stress hormones and partially waking you up –– as many as 400 times a night.

Does my age affect the likelihood I suffer from sleep apnea?

As you get older, the brain has a harder time keeping the muscles in the airways tight during sleep. During the night, they're more likely to sag, closing off the airways and momentarily cutting off the oxygen supply.

What are some reasons I might have airway issues?

There are a number of reasons your airway may be restricted, including the size and shape of the dental arch, tongue tie, weight, chronic nasal congestion, and more

Is a CPAP machine the only way to treat sleep apnea?

No! In fact, we see many patients who are able to resolve their sleep issues with the help of a simple dental device that is less invasive and cumbersome than a CPAP machine

Are you at risk for sleep apnea? Take Our Quiz.

Sleep apnea

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How does sleep apnea affect my health?

Sleep is critical to your body’s functioning. If you’ve been struggling to get a good night’s sleep because of sleep apnea, then you know how difficult it can be to function and feel good without giving your body adequate time to recharge each night. Airway issues that cause you to wake constantly and never really fall in to “deep sleep” have a number of very concerning implications, including:

We can help you sleep again!

As a dentist with advanced training in treating sleep apnea issues, Dr. Smitherman loves helping her patients (and their bed partners!) get a great night’s sleep again!

How can we help? Years ago, sleeping masks (CPAP machines) were traditionally used to keep the patient’s airways open while they slept, but nowadays there are some less intrusive options. Dental devices that gently tease the lower jaw forward are very effective in preventing the tongue from blocking the main air passage. These dental devices are gentle, easy to wear, and often help patients avoid unwanted surgeries.

Dr. Smitherman is passionate about helping patients resolve their sleep issues, and giving them back the energy they need to enjoy their waking hours. At Perspective Dental, our team believes that a good night’s sleep can truly be life-changing, which is why we offer complimentary consultations. Ready for a change? Click the schedule now to call us and reserve your personalized sleep consultation with Dr. Smitherman!

Sleep Apnea in Children

Dr. Smitherman is one of the leading pediatric sleep apnea dentists in the area, with advanced training on identifying and treating airway restriction issues in children.

If your child is experiencing issues with snoring, frequent waking, bedwetting, behavioral issues, hyperactivity, or headaches, airway restriction issues (sleep apnea) may be playing a role. How can Perspective Dental help? Dr. Smitherman starts with a consultation to address your concerns, and analysis of your child’s mouth and airway (looking for things like the size and shape of the dental arch, and even tongue tie).

For children with sleep apnea, we’re able to create dental appliances that are comfortable, and minimally invasive, and get your kiddo back to sleeping well again! Dr. Smitherman even works with a Myofunctional Therapist to address ongoing speech, tongue, lip functioning in your child. If you believe that your child may be suffering from sleep issues related to airway restriction, please give us a call and schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Smitherman.

Physical Symptoms of Sleep Apnea:

  • Loud, frequent snoring
  • Frequent night waking
  • Mouth breathing
  • Enlarged tonsils
  • Excessive sweating at night
  • Headache in the morning