Sleep apnea is the most serious form of sleep disordered breathing. If you have it, your breathing may stop hundreds of times a night, forcing your brain to awaken partly to restore breathing. You are likely unaware that you’re waking up, or, if you are aware, you may attribute it to the need to urinate or nightmares. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to cognitive difficulties, heart problems, and metabolic disorders. Fortunately, many successful treatments are available.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

It can be hard to diagnose because it occurs while you’re asleep. However, during the day you may notice a number of symptoms, such as:

  • Sleepiness
  • Waking up short of breath
  • Morning headaches
  • Dry mouth on waking
  • Tendency to fall asleep during work or while driving
  • Waking up unrested
  • Moodiness or irritability
  • Sadness
  • Memory problems
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Weight gain or inability to lose weight
man sleeping peacefully without sleep apnea in Detroit

Understanding Sleep Apnea

It occurs when your breathing stops at night. The most common form is obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when your airway collapses during sleep. This cuts off your air supply: you are literally being choked by your own throat.

Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain forgets to tell your body to breathe, until it notices an oxygen shortage then has to awaken enough to resume breathing. Most people with this condition also have obstructive sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea can be due to heart problems caused by obstructive sleep apnea or may be a side effect of the most common treatment, CPAP.

About half of sufferers have TMJ, and all are prone to developing TMJ. At the Michigan Center for TMJ & Sleep Wellness, our interdisciplinary training and thorough approach ensures that every patient under our care receives treatments that are therapeutic.

Oral appliance for sleep apnea detroit
Oral appliance details

Sleep Apnea Treatments

Although there are many dangers, it is also a condition with many successful treatments which can all but eliminate its dangerous consequences.
CPAP is the most commonly used frontline treatment. It uses an air pump, mask, and hose arrangement to force air into your throat and lungs. This keeps your airway open and ensures a steady supply of oxygen. It is a highly effective treatment, when used. Unfortunately, CPAP compliance rates are relatively low, even when the definition of compliance is set so low that being technically compliant may not yield good therapeutic benefits.

Oral appliance therapy uses your jaw to help keep your airway open. Since your jaw is the main bony support for your throat, moving your jaw can prevent airway collapse. People feel better about this treatment, which can be more convenient and comfortable, so they are more likely to use it. The only problem with this treatment is that it can lead to jaw problems like TMJ when used by dentists who don’t take adequate care. TMJ and sleep apnea are closely related because of the close relationship between the jaw and the airway. At our office, we take care to treat patients as though they already had TMJ and craft oral appliances that ensure a comfortable jaw position that doesn’t promote and may actually treat TMJ.

Surgery can also be used, but it is recommended only as a last resort. Surgery has low success rates, high complication rates, and high recession rates—even if it works, your sleep apnea is likely to return, though it may be less than before.

If you would like to learn more about the best sleep apnea treatment for you, please call (248) 480-0085 or email us.

Patient Testimonials

Kelly Wale Bellore

My husband was suffering with sleep apnea and it was scary listening to him stop breathing at night. The sleep appliance that Jeff and his team made eliminated his sleep apnea and help both of us sleep well! Our insurance covered a good portion of the appliance and the office staff is so friendly and professional! I highly recommend Jeff and his team to anyone who is suffering like my husband was!

Douglas Bayne Jr

Can’t say enough about Dr Haddad and the team. I suffer from severe sleep apnea and my snoring was not good for my home life. I tried the cpap machine and couldn’t do it . I’m a stomach sleeper and it just is not comfortable. The sleep appliance I received was just what I needed. Immediately stopped snoring the first night. Slept through the night without multiple wake ups. I feel energized in the morning and I can take the appliance with me everywhere. Thanks again to Dr Haddad, Christine and the whole team ! Changed my life

Jill Johnson

The night appliance has changed my life! I now am able to sleep minimally 7 hours, uninterrupted. No pain, no clenching. What a game changer – this appliance is worth gold!!!!

Laura Haddad Sullivan

I definitely clinch my teeth when I sleep. I would wake up every morning with a headache radiating from my temples. Since I have been wearing the bite guard Dr. Haddad fitted me for, I wake up without a headache! It’s really been a game changer in my life. I really would recommend this appliance and Dr. Haddad and his team to anyone!