Sleep Related Breathing Disorders

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If You Suffer From TMJ, Sleeping Might Be a Frustrating Issue

Struggling to sleep or sleep well is a problem many of us face. In fact, the majority of adults will experience some form of sleep trouble in their lives. For some, this is related to underlying pain that makes sleeping difficult. For others, it comes down to breathing disorders that disrupt sleep or even make sleeping dangerous. Whether you are in San Diego having TMJ pain or need sleep apnea treatment in San Diego, our team can help you.

Sleep-related breathing disorders have a significant negative impact on quality of life. However, not everyone who suffers from these disorders realizes they have them. Many people think they just snore a lot or feel tired often without knowing why. It is important that people know the symptoms and get the treatment they need. Perhaps the most common sleep-related breathing disorder is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This is caused by an obstruction of the airway during sleep, cutting off breathing and preventing air from getting to the lungs. The usual site for this obstruction is the soft palate to the base of the tongue where there are no rigid structures to maintain an open airway.

Obstructive sleep apnea is often thought of as an “adult” condition, but the truth is that anyone of any age can have sleep apnea—even infants. In some cases, OSA has been discovered to be the cause of behavioral and attention problems in children. Enlarged tonsils and small structural features of the maxilla/nose, mouth and throat may contribute to childhood OSA. OSA is not a condition that can be diagnosed or treated at home. Any symptoms of OSA should be taken seriously, as it is a potentially life-threatening disorder. OSA is a medical condition that is diagnosed by a medical doctor, but can be treated by a dentist with the proper training on these disorders. At present, the primary method for diagnosing OSA is to have the patient undergo a sleep study, known as Polysomnography (PSG) or Home Sleep Test (HST). We are happy to assist our patients in coordination of any necessary sleep testing.

Adult Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders

Sleep Services for Adults

Once we have diagnosed an adult patient with a sleep-related breathing condition, we will work with them to design a comprehensive plan that address the underlying cause while also helping them manage their symptoms. This can include behavior and lifestyle changes, Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) wear Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device (CPAP), and in extreme cases, surgery. There are over 100 different appliances that have FDA approval for OSA treatment, and we will work to find the best one for your needs. The doctors of TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre are specifically trained and experienced in oral appliance therapy. We use highly sensitive equipment to measure the airway, predict how it will improve, and create custom appliance designs. We also provide ongoing care and monitoring to ensure long-term success.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms for Adults

Common signs of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in adults include unexplained daytime sleepiness, restless sleep, and loud snoring (with periods of silence followed by gasps). Additional symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Morning headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Mood changes such as irritability, anxiety and depression
  • Forgetfulness
  • Increased heart rate and/or blood pressure
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Changes in urination
  • Frequent heartburn and heavy night sweats

Adults have been found to be at higher risk if they are male, obese, of an increasing age, have anatomic abnormalities of the upper airway, have a family history of sleep apnea, use alcohol or sedatives frequently, are a smoker or experience hypertension.

Take an Adult Sleep Apnea Test

Child Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders

Sleep Services for Children

Orthodontics / Orthopedics for Treatment of OSA

Adult therapies for the management of OSA are not suitable for children. Therapies such as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) and Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT) have been known to arrest skeletal development of the growing child. The good news is, with proper diagnosis and communication between medical and dental providers, Pediatric OSA can be cured!

Orthodontics for Airway Development

At TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre, an increase in airway volume is always our goal in the treatment of Pediatric OSA. The airway is evaluated and any obstructions are addressed. Obstructions can occur anywhere in the airway and are not limited to the mouth and nose. Common procedures in airway development involve upper and lower jaw expansion and relationship changes, myofunctional tongue and lip exercises and lifestyle changes. Orthopedic airway development has a very high success rate in pediatric patients. Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea is a prevalent but under-diagnosed disease. The importance of screening for OSA in every child has recently been re-emphasized by the American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms for Children

Sleep disorders in children are conditions that prevent them from getting the oxygen needed while they sleep, creating a form of suffocation.  Obstructive sleep apnea in children is being increasingly recognized as a cause of attention and behavior problems as well as learning and developmental problems. Symptoms include:

  • Snoring
  • Mouth breathing
  • Restlessness during sleep
  • Sleeping in odd positions
  • Periods of not breathing
  • Teeth grinding
  • Night terrors
  • Mood changes
  • Poor concentration
  • Bed wetting
  • Headaches
  • Frequent infections

Children with undiagnosed OSA are frequently misdiagnosed as having ADHD and placed on unnecessary medications.

Learn more about what our patients have to say

about the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of San Diego

jody riley
jody riley
Excellent care!! !!!I feel so much better !! Thank you!!!
Mary Prendergast
Mary Prendergast
I have been seeing the specialists at La Mesa's TMJ Centre since the mid-1990s when my dentist referred me to Dr. Smith. I am utterly please with the care. My headaches, jaw pain have majorly improved. I feel comfortable and confident in their care and am faithful wearing my appliances. Dr. Smith has retired and the new doctor has the same caring attitude.
Brittany Gasner
Brittany Gasner
Such a beautiful office, comforting, always welcomed with smiling faces. LOVE coming in weekly for my tmj therapy with Kylee, she is so knowledgeable and listens to my needs as a patient. Great team here! Thanks Dr.Brad and crew!
Renee Wilkinson
Renee Wilkinson
Wonderful staff. Clean and stylish lobby with very knowledgeable team. Genuinely cares for their patients and anyone that is there to consult with a professional on their issues. Victoria was exceptional and the doctor made me feel comfortable as I have high anxiety going to dentists/doctors.
Andrew Cross, II
Andrew Cross, II
TMJ is always friendly and very helpful. They are more concerned about “YOU” as a patient and your health, than getting you in and out quickly!
Barbara Blaney
Barbara Blaney
Doctors are smart, respectful and actually listen to patient needs. Supported by an amazing team of women, from the front desk to behind the scenes, who deal with patients in a kind,considerate way that is not often found at most dr's offices today.
Anthony Delgado
Anthony Delgado
I recently went thru treatment for some jaw pain and popping, and had great results! I didn't have a referral at first but I was looking around online to see if I could find a professional to check out the problems I was having. You start off with a consultation and go thru several exams and testing which I felt were comprehensive and convinced me to pursue the 3 month treatment. The downside is that insurance may not cover the visits and treatment regiment, but it was definitely worth the money. I would recommend this place to anyone looking for TMJ treatment. The staff and doctor are also very friendly and knowledgeable
m s
m s
Dr Sainsbury, Victoria, THANK YOU! As a fellow colleague who found herself in urgent need of help with her child, I cannot express enough gratitude or say enough about this office's mission and compassion! Although Dr Sainsbury doesn't usually see patients on Fridays, after Victoria relayed my story to him, he offered to come to the office to see my child and help in any way he could. And that he did! Dr Sainsbury was personable, clearly very knowledgeable and clear on his diagnosis and recommendations. He helped put my teen at ease immediately. Although in this case the diagnosis did not fall squarely into the TMJ realm, the attitude was not one of "sorry can't help you, bye" as is a little too often in healthcare. Dr Sainsbury clearly had a deep understanding of not only his field but the associated fields. He was sympathetic and offered pain relief services as well as take home products, self care advice and suggestions as to next steps. Everything a patient in pain (or parent of one!) would hope to find in their treating clinician! Willing and able to help! Thank you!