Education

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is the temporary stoppage of breathing during sleep, often resulting in daytime sleepiness.

The Greek word “apnea” literally means “without breath.” There are three types of apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed; of the three, obstructive is the most common.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep. With each apnea event, the brain briefly arouses people with sleep apnea in order for them to resume breathing, but consequently sleep is extremely fragmented and of poor quality.

Untreated, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease, memory problems, weight gain, impotency, and headaches. Moreover, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for job impairment and motor vehicle crashes. Fortunately, sleep apnea can be diagnosed and treated.

We design oral sleep appliances that patients wear during the night to help them inhale and exhale more air per breath, which in turn reduces a patients snoring and sleep apnea.


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What is TMJ pain?

It is quite common of those people who have sleep apnea to also have TMJ discomfort. Both groups tend to have smaller, retruded jaws, and they both seem to clench and grind.

The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is comprised of the temporal bone, the lower jaw and the disc. The lower jaw or mandible connects to the skull via the temporal bone at the temporomandibular joint.

The disc can be displaced or slipped out of place. When the disc is displaced arthritic changes can accelerate, muscles can tighten and the bite can feel off.

TMJ pain and dysfunction is often associated with neck and shoulder pain, clicking or popping sounds and also locking of the jaw joint.

Respire Daytime Devices can reposition the jaw to decrease clicking and decompress the painful nerves. They can also be used as stabilization devices for cognitive behavioral habit control. They can be designed in a way to reduce pressure on the posterior teeth in order to minimize the ability of the painful muscle's to tighten.