What is Osbrtuctive Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is an anatomical condition where a person’s airway becomes so narrowed or even blocked that they can no longer breathe. This stoppage of breath causes the oxygen levels in a persons blood to drop to unsafe levels effectively starving every organ of oxygen. If this occurs between 5-14 times per hour it is considered Mild OSA, 15-29 times per hour is considered Moderate OSA and 30 or more times per hour is Severe OSA.

What causes Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

OSA is an anatomic issue. When a person’s jaws don’t fully develop or grow to their full genetic potential they end up with smaller, set back jaws. This is often visible and will show up in a couple of different ways. Crooked teeth, highly vaulted narrow palate and a facial profile that looks like a small set back chin are the most common. When the jaw is narrow and set back it forces a persons tongue to set low and back into the airway space. Often times this arrangement will lead to mouth breathing in addition to snoring and apnea. Once a person falls asleep, especially on their back, their muscles relax and can allow that pushed back tongue and soft palate to fall further back into the airway causing a blockage.

Sleep Apnea Sioux Falls

What happens to your body when you have sleep apnea?

When your brain senses that it is losing oxygen it kicks your body into fight or flight mode. Within seconds your brain tells your body increase your heart rate in hopes of sending more oxygenated blood to the brain so that brain cells don’t start to die. When that doesn’t work it tells your head, neck and facial muscles to contract. This is an effort to brace and pull open the blocked airway but it also causes clenching and grinding of the teeth. The lungs and diaphragm continue to try to breath in but when there is a blockage that effort causes a vacuum to form in your esophagus which may reflux stomach contents into your airway. If that still doesn’t work you will begin to wake up until you are able to gasp or move enough to free the blockage.

Sleep Apnea Sioux Falls

These frequent bouts of a racing heart are hard on your circulatory system that should be busy repairing itself from the days damage. When more damage is occuring and not enough repair you become at risk for serious health issues such as heart attack and stroke. When you have frequent awakenings your body doesn’t get enough deep sleep or REM sleep. Lack of deep sleep causes things like weight gain, memory loss, fatigue, insulin resistance and skin wrinkles. This can occur in children as well but their overtired state can be mistaken for hyperactivity and their memory loss can be labeled as poor school performance. There isn’t an organ or tissue in the body that does well with a lack of oxygen or a lack of sleep.

Sleep Apnea In Sioux Falls

What can I do about it?

For patients with severe OSA the best treatment is either jaw advancement surgery performed by an oral surgeon or a CPAP machine worn over the face to blow air into the airway keeping it “blown” open. If you can not tolerate the CPAP or you have a milder form of sleep apnea then a mandibular advancement device may be a better option. An oral device that slips on over your teeth and retains your lower jaw in a more forward poistion works by holding the tongue out of the airway. There are many styles and designs on the market each with their own advantages.

We really like the Narval CC by Resmed due to how thin and durable it is. This designs maximizes tongue space which is the main goal, keeping the tongue in the mouth and out of the airway. If the soft palate is also creating blockages then the NightLase procedure may be right for you.

Correcting the underlying anatomical malformation can also be a good strategy for improving someone’s airway. Orthodontic treatment to correct crooked teeth, widening the palate if it is too high and narrow can be helpful too. Often times these improper growth issue are a result of an undiagnosed tongue tie or other improper muscles patterns like a reverse swallow. A frenectomy can be performed to correct the tied tongue and myofunctional therapy can retain bad muscle habits and improve nasal breathing. The cause of OSA can be multifaceted and the treatment needs to be too. The goal is to improve or maximize the airway space as much as medically possible with the least amount of invasiveness possible.

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Cosmetic Dentist Sioux Falls
Cosmetic Dentistry Sioux Falls

What Our Patients Say About Us

329 Google Reviews
(4.6)Average Rating
Casey Hanna
Casey Hanna
I’m new to the area and was in need of a new dentist and I am so happy I found them. I was nervous about finding a new dentist because I have been going to the same dentist since I was a little kid but I am so happy I did. My hygienist was so nice and didn’t shame me for not flossing but instead gave me tips and tricks for making my oral care routine more effective. Dr. Nicole and her staff staff are truly amazing, kind, professional, and make you feel so welcomed in their office.
Aug 24, 2022
I had not been to the dentist for a long time and decided to give them a shot. The staff were friendly but I felt like I was being up-sold on things. Not the vibe I want from a health care provider. They did a deep clean and filled 4 cavities. I have great insurance but it was still very expensive. Now here’s the part that made me take the time to write a review on here: During my follow up appointment, about 1 month after the cavities were filled, they told me I had 2 more cavities that needed to be filled. I was suspicious because of the up-selling so I went to another dentist for a second opinion. They said I didn’t have any more cavities. These people were about to drill holes in my perfectly good teeth just to charge me more. This goes beyond bad business practices into the realm of disgusting dishonesty. Completely unethical.
Aug 12, 2022
Todd W Schumacher
Todd W Schumacher
First, let me say I am not a fan of ANY dentist and yes it may go to the point of FEAR. Which is why I have avoided D-D&S for several years. Unfortunately, I lost a filling and I am not even sure when it fell out nor does that matter. I had slight pain for a week or so prior to calling the office but when I called I was in SEVERE PAIN, which I informed the receptionist(Kathy) upon making my call for an immediate appointment. "Both dentists are with patients at this time, but you can come in forty minutes.", was the reply I received. I tried to grit my teeth through the forty and lasted about thirty, which seemed fine since they had paperwork for me upon arrival. I expressed my need to be seen and again I was waiting, waiting in extreme pain. When escorted back to an exam room, X-rays were administered showing the cause of my pain, an open nerve and a tooth that required a visit to an endodontist for a root canal. However, the dentist(Dr. Z.), was paged and didn't arrive to my exam room for several more minutes of severe pain; I know because I was visited by the dental assistant twice during my wait. Once again I complained about my discomfort and was given a medicated swab to bite down on in an attempt to relieve some of the pain. Finally Dr. Z. appeared with medication in injection form which did numb it. They were nice enough at DD&S to make me an appointment with Dr. Homer and he did a stand-up job at fixing the root canal issue. I wish I could leave it as a zero star rating but a one star rating is as low as GOOGLE will allow. IF you read this entire posting know that I am not against all dentists, Dr. Homer actually did a super job, was professional when he called to check on me the evening of the procedure; ending the call with comfort by telling me that the number he was calling from was his private cell number. I am not planning on visiting DD&S EVER in the future nor would I recommend that ANY friends or family visit Designer Dentistry and Smiles of Sioux Falls EVER in their future either. I believe my review speaks for itself and others should be allowed to read about my experience. Thanks for reading. Todd Schumacher
Dec 01, 2022
Glen Eeten
Glen Eeten
I’m always happy with the results of my dental work. My questions are always answered in a way that I feel is professional and educational. 08/23/22 I’m adding that Tiffany listened to me when she asked if I wanted is a little gift bag and I said oh yes especially dental floss! I got home and there were two dental flosses in the bag. I am a frequent flyer at Designer Dentistry. I always feel that they’re keeping my best interest in mind. Cassie gives me her opinion and I value it! Today I had Dr. Z and I’m as happy with her as I am with Dr. Nicole. 1/9/23 I continue to feel heard, supported and educated by Designer Dentistry. I trust their expertise and appreciate their professionalism.
Jan 10, 2023
Andrew Stanga
Andrew Stanga
Comfortable, clean, informative, great dental staff. My wife had a pleasure going to the dentist today! Dr. Z was amazing!
Nov 08, 2022

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Our practice accepts most major insurance plans. Our team is knowledgeable about dental insurance, too, so we're happy to file and track your claims for you to ensure that you're getting the most out of your benefits. We just ask that you bring your insurance card to each appointment, so we can make sure your information is as up-to-date as possible.


Designer Dentistry & Smiles

6100 W. 41st St. Sioux Falls, SD 57106

Monday - 9AM-5:30PM
Tuesday - 7:30AM-4:30PM
Wednesday - 7:30AM-4PM
Thursday - 7:30AM-4PM
Friday To Sunday - Closed