Sleep Apnea

TMJ Orofacial Disorders Center

TMJ Specialists & Dental Sleep Medicine located in Seattle, WA

Oral sleep appliances are an effective way to treat sleep apnea and help you get that much needed restorative sleep and allow your bed partner to sleep as well. Jason Pehling, DDS, MS, has been making oral sleep apnea appliances for over 20 years, being introduced to them by one of the founders in the field in 1996. Having made over 5000 oral appliances, Dr. Pehling at the TMJ Orofacial Disorders Center in Seattle can provide you with safe and effective snoring and sleep apnea treatment. The goal is for you to get the sleep you deserve by managing your sleep apnea with useful and innovative treatment methods. Call the TMJ Orofacial Disorders Center or use the online scheduler today.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What is sleep apnea?

When you have sleep apnea, your breathing stops and starts repeatedly while you sleep causing you to get less oxygen. Sleep apnea can stop you from reaching the important deeper stages of your sleep cycle. It negatively impacts your sleep quality and can affect people of all ages. 

Sleep apnea has three different types, including:

Central sleep apnea

When your brain doesn’t communicate properly with the muscles controlling your breathing.

Obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your throat muscles, such as your soft palate and tongue, relax temporarily, narrowing or closing your airway and impairing your breathing. 

Without adequate air supply, it can decrease the amount of oxygen in your blood and your brain jolts you awake to allow you to open your airway.

This sleep disturbance can take place anywhere from 5-100 times every hour and you might not even know it.

Complex sleep apnea syndrome

Complex sleep apnea syndrome happens when you have both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.

What causes sleep apnea?

The cause of sleep apnea is from collapse of the airway. Risk factors are:

  • Aging
  • Allergies and nasal congestion
  • Obesity
  • Smoking 
  • A narrowed airway
  • Alcohol and sedatives
  • Small jaw structures

Sleep apnea is more prevalent in males.

How is sleep apnea treated?

TMJ Orofacial Disorders Center offers polysomnograms (PSG), MediByte HST®, pharyngometry, Cone Beam CT, and MATRx for proper diagnosis. He collaborates with his physician sleep specialists. 

Dr. Pehling is an expert in the various oral appliances available and most fit into your mouth just like a sports mouthguard or an orthodontic retainer. Oral sleep appliances or snore guards support your jaw in a forward position and help you to maintain an open airway.  The most common side effects include bite shifting and jaw problems which Dr. Pehling is a trained and experienced expert

There are also a number of procedures when necessary. For example, a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty involves cutting away, tightening, or reducing soft tissue at the back of your throat and palate to minimize the risk of the airway collapsing. A tonsillectomy to remove the tonsils can be helpful in some cases to create more space for airflow. Surgical jaw advancement can also be an effective treatment. 

Sleep apnea can also be treated with a CPAP machine — a specialized mask and machine to assist your breathing through the night. It is effective but it can be difficult to get used to, which is why many people do not use them. 

Sleep apnea can have a devastating impact on your health and your sleep quality, if you’re interested in top quality treatments, call or click to book online today.