Sleep Apnea in Fulshear

What is Sleep Apnea? 

Sleep-related breathing disorders include primary snoring, upper airway resistance syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea, and central sleep apnea. Disordered respiration during sleep occurs when the sleep cycle is interrupted primarily by the airway being blocked or collapsing. Factors such as anatomical abnormalities (nasal polyps, deviated septum, or large tonsils), functional abnormalities (allergy or sickness), medication, age, obesity, sleep position, and others contribute to sleep breathing disorders.

Did you know…

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Certain dog breeds, such as bulldogs and pugs, are prone to developing sleep apnea due to their short snouts and narrow airways.

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Signs & Symptoms In Adults


a loud, harsh sound made during sleep caused by the vibration of tissues in the airway.

Clenching & Grinding

involuntary movements of the jaw and teeth during sleep that can lead to dental problems and jaw pain.

Scalloped Tongue

a wavy or ridged appearance of the tongue caused by pressure from the teeth during sleep.

Narrow Palate

a condition where the roof of the mouth is narrow, which can contribute to breathing difficulties and sleep apnea.

Mouth Breathing:

breathing through the mouth instead of the nose during sleep, which can lead to dry mouth and other complications.

Excessive Daytime Sleepiness

a persistent feeling of drowsiness and fatigue during waking hours, which can impair daily activities.

Poor Memory

difficulty with memory and concentration, which can be a result of poor sleep quality due to sleep apnea.

Fragmented Sleep

frequent awakenings or disruptions during sleep, which can lead to fatigue and other sleep-related symptoms.

Morning Headache

headaches that occur in the morning and are often accompanied by fatigue, which can be a symptom of sleep apnea.


high blood pressure, which is a common comorbidity of sleep apnea.


sleep apnea has been linked to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Acid Reflux

a condition where stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, which can be worsened by sleep apnea.


sleep apnea has been linked to an increased risk of depression and other mood disorders.

The Sleep Apnea Appliance Process

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Complementary Consultation:

You’ll first have a consultation with Dr. Smith to discuss any possible sleep breathing disorders. During the consultation, Dr. Smith will discuss your sleep concerns and medical history, as well as, provide information on treatment options for sleep apnea.

At-Home Sleep Test:

After the consultation, you may be given information to complete an at-home sleep test to monitor your breathing patterns during sleep. The test involves wearing a small device that tracks your breathing and oxygen levels. another option would be to refer you directly to a sleep physician to conduct the proper tests.


Once the sleep test is complete, the data collected is reviewed by a sleep physician. The physician will use the data to diagnose if you have sleep apnea and determine its severity. if the physician deems necessary, he or she will write a prescription for either a dental sleep appliance or a cpap, taking into consideration several factors.

Discuss Results & Treatment:

Based on the sleep study results, you will then have a second consultation with Dr. Smith to discuss your diagnosis and treatment options. This may include the use of a sleep appliance, which will help to keep the airway open during sleep.

Impression & Records:

If you are a good candidate for a sleep appliance and if CPAP intolerance is present, impressions and records of your teeth and jaw will be taken. This information will be used to fabricate a custom-made sleep appliance that fits snugly over the teeth.

Delivery of Sleep Appliance:

Once the sleep appliance is fabricated, you will return to Dr. Smith's office to have it delivered and adjusted for maximum comfort and effectiveness.

Follow-up Visits:

After delivery of the sleep appliance, you will have follow-up visits with your dentist in fulshear to adjust the device as needed. This helps to ensure that the appliance is working effectively and providing relief from sleep apnea symptoms.

Did you know…

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Treatment for sleep apnea not only benefits your sleep, but it can also improve your dental health!

Have questions about Sleep Apnea? Find answers here.

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What are the stages of sleep apnea?

There are 3 stages of sleep apnea: mild, moderate, and severe. Sleep apnea severity is measured by the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI). Apnea occurs when oxygen stops for 10 seconds or more while hypopnea is the decrease of oxygen. AHI is calculated by adding the number of apneas and hypopneas and dividing this by the number of hours slept. Mild sleep apnea corresponds to an AHI of 5-15. Moderate sleep apnea corresponds to an AHI of 15-30. Severe sleep apnea corresponds to an AHI of >30.

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Do you recommend using a CPAP or sleep appliance to treat sleep apnea?

A sleep appliance is a great alternative for patients with mild sleep apnea, moderate sleep apnea, or upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS). Many patients are unable to tolerate the bulkiness, design, and position of the CPAP, so they opt for a sleep appliance instead. If you suffer from severe sleep apnea, a CPAP is always recommended first. 

How does a sleep appliance work?

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A sleep appliance advances the mandible and associated soft tissues. By preventing collapsibility, it supports the hyoid bone and increases muscle tone. It also encourages the base of the tongue to be repositioned anteriorly.

Which oral appliances do you use?

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Oral appliances, or mandibular repositioning devices, are fabricated in different labs. The most common appliances are Prosomnus, Somnomed, Herbst, and Panthera. 

Are there other methods to combat sleep apnea?

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Other treatment options include lifestyle changes (such as weight loss, daily exercise, avoiding alcohol, etc.), positional therapy, sleep hygiene, pharmacological treatment, and surgery. Additionally, expansion of the teeth in the maxilla and mandible using Invisalign helps in creating more room for the tongue and airway. This often leads to decreasing symptoms. 

Did you know…

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Sleep breathing disorders can occur in patients of all ages.

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