Sleep Medicine

What is Sleep Medicine?

TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of Montana provides dental sleep medicine. Dental sleep medicine is the management of medically diagnosed sleep-related breathing disorders such as sleep apnea and snoring using oral appliance therapy for adults and orthopedic orthodontics for airway development or correction for children.

Dr. VanDyke of TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of Montana is specifically trained and experienced in dental sleep medicine. The standard of care is always to attempt non-surgical rehabilitation before invasive surgical procedures. The percentage of patients who need surgery is extremely low.

Disorders Treated by Sleep Medicine

There are a variety of sleep-related breathing disorders that can be treated by Sleep Medicine! Including:

  • TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorders)
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Snoring
  • Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)


TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorders) is the term patients are most familiar with, and it is the most common component of Craniofacial Pain. Second, both TMJ and Sleep Apnea can be successfully treated non-surgically with oral appliance therapy, and these two conditions are often comorbid (interrelated). Our doctor is skilled in identifying and addressing the primary problem for the best treatment direction and successful long-term results.

Sleep Apnea

Oral appliance therapy is one of the recommended treatment options for patients with a diagnosis of mild to moderate sleep apnea. The oral appliance is worn in the mouth to keep the airway and/or throat open during sleep by controlling the position of the tongue and lower jaw. For severe cases, oral appliances can also be used with CPAP to make it more tolerable to wear.


Snoring is noisy breathing during sleep. It is a common problem among all ages and both genders, and it affects approximately 90 million American adults — 37 million on a regular basis. Snoring may occur nightly or intermittently. Persons most at risk are males and those who are overweight, but snoring is a problem of both genders, although it is possible that women do not present with this complaint as frequently as men. Snoring usually becomes more serious as people age. It can cause disruptions to your own sleep and your bed-partner's sleep. It can lead to fragmented and un-refreshing sleep which translates into poor daytime function (tiredness and sleepiness). The two most common adverse health effects that are believed to be casually linked to snoring are extreme daytime sleepiness or fatigue and heart disease. About one-half of people who snore loudly have obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea has no boundaries for age or size. In fact, there is a 70% overlap between snoring, clenching/grinding, ADHD symptoms, and apnea in children. These are staggering numbers and the reason the American Association of Pediatrics ‘Practice Parameter’ states that all children should be screened for snoring. An affirmative response for snoring should be followed by a more detailed evaluation.

Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

At TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of Montana, our approach to crooked teeth and bad bites is one of prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of the cause. In most cases, crooked teeth are a symptom of a more serious condition, one of dysfunctional breathing and/or improper tongue posture. Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) 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.

OSA is a medical condition that is diagnosed by a medical doctor, but can be treated by a dentist with advanced understanding and training of this life-threatening breathing disorder. Working with a Sleep Physician, ENT and others is necessary in treating 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!

If you or a loved one, adult or child, are suffering the symptoms of TMJ, Sleep Apnea, Snoring, OSA, or any other sleep-related breathing disorder, call The TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of Montana, we are here to help!

Call and make an appointment today! We are the experts on these conditions and we will provide you with the very best care. improving quality of life one patient at a time.

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The Independent Doctors and Health Providers of Montana