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Sleep Apnea Treatment in LA

There is a profound connection between the conditions that cause TMJ and the conditions that cause Sleep-disordered breathing. Dr. Bob Perkins is a renowned Los Angeles Sleep Apnea Treatment Specialist.

Sleep Apnea is a form of sleep-disordered breathing though it does not completely define the term. The majority of patients I treat for TMJ also have some form of impairment in their ability to take in oxygen. That is really what breath is: It’s the way we take in Oxygen. We all need to be highly functioning machines that take in the HIGHEST LEVELS of oxygen. It’s called OXYGEN SATURATION and only if you are breathing through your nose with a clear and patent airway will you be able to breathe highly oxygenated air.

Our health depends on it in so many ways….

Consequences of Sleep Disordered Breathing (at night) due to obstructive breathing or mouth breathing:
1. Fatigue or sleepiness during the day
2. Reduced mental acuity, lowered ability to focus
3. Add/ADHD
4. Depression
5. Anxiety

Our jaws need to develop properly. Our jaws need the conditions to develop and maintain adequate tongue space.

The most basic condition to developing and maintain adequate tongue space and to absorbing the highest levels of oxygen requires that we breathe through our noses with our lips together. This is paramount. If we don’t breathe through our noses we will invite many health conditions that manifest emotionally, physically, cardiovascularly, and esthetically.

When I treat TMJ I am also ensuring that the airway is optimized and that nose breathing and proper tongue posture are mastered. TMJ rarely exists in a vacuum, that is, it rarely is not concurrent with other health, developmental, or esthetic issues.

If your jaws are back and your teeth are back (instead of forward) then you greatly increase your risk for TMJ and Sleep Disordered Breathing. Fortunately, you can bring the teeth and jaws forward and successfully treat these issues simultaneously while at the same time improving facial proportions and esthetics.

The face looks most proportional when it develops properly as a result of nose breathing and proper tongue position (up against the roof of the mouth). This tongue position (with lips together breathing) will ensure a full upper arch and proper development of the face and proper position of the teeth. This proper development of the face only happens if you are a nasal breather.

Sleep apnea affects an estimated 5-10% of Americans, with most of those individuals suffering from the obstructive form of this disorder. When there is an airway obstruction that occurs while you are sleeping, you can stop breathing. When you stop for ten seconds or more several times a night, this is considered sleep apnea and can be destructive to your health. At Bob Perkins, DDS, in Burbank, we have effective methods for treating sleep apnea to protect our patients’ health.

Sleep apnea cuts off oxygen to the body throughout the night. This can lead to hypertension and headaches, with a higher risk for stroke and type 2 diabetes. Obstructive sleep apnea can be caused or impacted by many factors, including obesity, smoking, alcohol use, TMJ and jaw misalignment. When the tongue and soft tissues in the mouth press against the airway when sleeping, it can cause a blockage and stop breathing. Those with sleep apnea often snore loudly, gasp, and choke in their sleep.

TMJ, Orthodontics and Sleep Apnea Treatment

In many cases, sleep apnea can be treated by repositioning the jaw or teeth. For those with TMJ, the jaw may shift backward due to worn teeth or a damaged jaw joint. This positions the tongue further back in the mouth, pressing against the airway. Orthodontic issues can have the same effect. At Bob Perkins, DDS, we work on realigning the jaw by treating TMJ or orthodontic issues with our innovative neuromuscular dental procedures and orthodontic care.

We use options such as physical therapy, expansion orthodontic appliances, jaw repositioning, and orthodontic aligners to treat our patients with sleep apnea. This can shift the jaw into the correct position and put less pressure on the soft palate, stopping nocturnal obstructions. If you live in the Burbank or Los Angeles area and suffer from sleep apnea, contact our office today. We can perform a thorough exam to determine whether TMJ, dental or orthodontic issues are causing your sleep apnea and offer treatment for relief.