TMJ & Sleep Center, Emerald Coast Tackles Sleep Disordered Breathing Issues in Children

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TMJ & Sleep Center, Emerald Coast Tackles Sleep Disordered Breathing Issues in Children

Santa Rosa Beach, FL (February 4, 2020) — In an effort to help children reach their full potential of growth and well-being, TMJ & Sleep Center, Emerald Coast (EC) is addressing the increased need for the provision of comprehensive, quality solutions for sleep disordered breathing issues that manifest overtime and are often overlooked.

Clinical research has established a connection between certain common childhood health and behavioral symptoms and their root cause—sleep disordered breathing. Early detection and treatment are critical, as 9 out of 10 kids suffer from one of more symptoms including: mouth breathing, snoring, bed wetting, delayed growth, nightmares, ADD/ADHD, restless sleep, difficulty in school, overbite/overjet, and crowded teeth just to name a few. If left untreated, there may be a significant impact on the child’s full growth and development potential.

The central issue for many children suffering from the effects of sleep related breathing disorders is a compromised airway. When a child’s airway is narrow, underdeveloped, or constricted in any way, the child will struggle to receive enough oxygen and may resort to mouth breathing which compounds the issue by creating inflammation. Further, crowded teeth can force the tongue backwards into the throat, further restricting the airway.

As sleep disorders are becoming increasingly recognized as a growing concern for both adults and children across the country, physicians with combined training in advanced dentistry, orthodontics, dental sleep medicine, and TMJ / TMD are ideally suited to diagnose and treat the core cause of sleep breathing disorders, TMJ and craniofacial pain.

Breathing, sleeping, and thriving—it’s all connected. The TMJ & Sleep Center, EC physicians are dedicated to improving the lives of all patients through the use of innovative technologies, technical skill, education, and a compassionate environment.

Conventional treatment options such as prescription drugs, surgery, academic tutors, and braces have been limiting and ineffective, mainly because they do not address the core issue. None of them can actually promote or develop a child’s airway and help them get the oxygen and sleep they need to be healthy.

Through the use of proprietary, FDA-cleared and non-invasive systems, TMJ & Sleep Center, EC is able to treat the underlying root cause, which consequently resolves the symptoms related to sleep-disordered breathing.

This is a key and unique differentiator. Many patients have chronic health issues that are often seemingly unrelated. However, in most cases, the symptoms are usually linked to the same underlying cause. When patients are symptom free, it is unlikely they will experience any relapse as long as they follow the prescribed protocol. 

“We can’t stress enough the importance of parents recognizing the symptoms. It is critical to get help especially when children are young, and their bodies are able to adjust and mold—particularly in the mouth and bone structure,” said Dr. Mike O’Donnell, who founded the TMJ & Sleep Center, EC. “We use orthopedic appliances to redirect growth and promote proper breathing. At the end the day our mission is to educate parents, and help children breathe properly so they can continue to learn, grow, and blossom. They will also develop a beautiful smile.”

TMJ & Sleep Center, EC also treats adults for obstructive sleep apnea, TMJ / Head and facial pain. The health consequences for adults can be just as serious as for children if not property diagnosed and addressed. The medical experts at TMJ & Sleep Center, EC can also offer treatment options that are non-surgical, non-invasive, and an alternative to standard machines like the CPAP that can improve a patient’s quality of life and health.

Dr. O’Donnell opened TMJ & Sleep Center, EC in early 2019 to bring quality comprehensive treatment of TMJ and sleep disorders to patients in Northwest Florida and surrounding area. He completed his Mini-Residency at the University of Tennessee for Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders & Craniofacial Pain for Adults and Children, and Motor Nerve Reflex Testing. He also studied and trained under Dr. Steven Olmos, an internationally renowned expert in the field of craniofacial pain, temporomandibular disorder (TMD) and sleep-disordered breathing. Dr. O’Donnell furthered his comprehensive training under Dr. Brock Rondeau for Diagnosis and Treatment of TMD with curriculum including Early Treatment, Airway, Snoring and Sleep Apnea. He is currently training to be board-certified from the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM).

A leading dental practitioner, Dr. O’Donnell also founded Great Florida Smiles & Orthodontics in 2005, with offices in Santa Rosa Beach and DeFuniak Springs, where he and his team of dental professionals provide excellent service and the most advanced technology in the area to patients. He also was the first dentist in the state of Florida to offer “painless dentistry” with revolutionary laser Solea technology.

Dr. Chris Farrugia, also with the practice, began treating sleep disorders at his private dental practice in 2013 and has been diagnosing and treating TMD / TMJ for over 25 years. He joined TMJ & Sleep Center, EC upon its founding. Along with Dr. O’Donnell, he is focused on helping patients achieve overall better health beyond just treating them for dental issues. Dr. Farrugia was trained at the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He is currently seeking Diplomate status certification with the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine which is the “gold standard” in dental sleep medicine.

TMJ & Sleep Center, Emerald Coast is currently accepting new patients, both children and adults. Visit to learn more or call (850) 608-1850 to schedule an initial screening and consultation.

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About TMJ & Sleep Center, Emerald Coast

TMJ & Sleep Center, Emerald Coast believes in a comprehensive approach to treating TMJ, sleep disorders, and facial pain for both children and adults. Their main focus and goal is to find the origin of the problem and develop treatment options to help alleviate pain, improve sleep, increase energy, and enhance the overall quality of life for all of our patients. Their state-of-the-art medical facility is located in Santa Rosa Beach, near the sparkling green waters and white sand of Florida’s Emerald Coast. TMJ & Sleep Center, Emerald Coast serves a geographic area from Mobile (AL), to Tallahassee (FL), to Dothan (AL), and all areas in between.


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