Sleep Related Breathing Disorders

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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

Beverlee M.

5.0 ★★★★★  a year ago

The entire staff at the center are fantastic. They were able to correct a long standing bite/sleep issue. My jaw doesn’t lock anymore and I sleep more comfortably with my night time appliance.. Thank you all for your knowledge compassion.

J. Thomas

5.0 ★★★★★  a year ago

They are amazing! They not only treated my jaw pain they also determined I had sleep apnea and sleep issues. I had tried many treatments in the past and they are the only ones that have cured my jaw pain, snoring and migraines.

Suresh P.

5.0 ★★★★★  a year ago

I wore my temporary appliance and OMG… I slept well for the first time in 6 weeks maybe a lot longer. Thank you so much, I feel ready for life again. God bless you all. You are all miracle workers…