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Couple laying in bed together while the husband is asleep snoring

TMJ & Sleep Therapy


The TMJ & Dental Sleep Therapy Centres are dedicated to the treatment of Craniofacial Pain, Primary Headaches, Temporomandibular Disorders (TMJ), Snoring, and Sleep Related Breathing Disorders including Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) in adults and children for over 10 years.

The practice is one of over 50 TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centres spanning 7 countries including the Craniofacial Pain Centre at the University of Tennessee. We are also excited to announce that we have established a Pediatric Division at both TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centres.

The philosophy of the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre is consistent with the scientific literature that documents the coexistence of Sleep Disordered Breathing and TMJ disorders. We recognize that jaw problems are often only a symptom secondary to a greater problem affecting the body, much like fever is secondary to the common flu, and in the absence of an acute injury to the head or face, the primary cause of jaw problems is frequently an unidentified sleep breathing issue like Sleep Apnea.

Sleep Apnea (suffocation) is defined as an absence of breathing during sleep. A common reason for this medical condition is a poorly positioned jaw and/or tongue that can lead to a blocked airway. There is a 70% overlap between Snoring and Sleep Apnea in adults and children. At the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre, we believe that a proper diagnosis and emphasis on origin, not symptoms, is the key to successful treatment. We can provide successful treatment with nonsurgical therapies for pain relief, rehabilitation and the proper breathing required for restful sleep. And yes, children often suffer with a TMJ Disorder (TMD) and difficulties with airway and breathing.

In fact, comprehensive research has shown that mouth breathing and myofunctional habits are the real cause of malocclusion resulting in orthodontic problems. We are excited to announce the new Pediatric Division at the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre.


Functional orthodontics involves more than just straightening teeth. It involves understanding and evaluating the relationships between the teeth, the jaws and how we breathe. Dr. Lawson is skilled in the design, application and control of functional appliances such as ALF (Advanced Lightwire Fuctionals), dental arch expansion appliances and other orthopaedic appliances that combined with braces will bring the lips, teeth and jaws into proper alignment.


Airway and TMJ stabilization first involves identifying and expanding narrow upper jaws so the lower jaw can be moved to a healthy functional position. This is accomplished with orthopaedic appliances that gently create an improved upper arch form. This also provides more space for the tongue that not only maintains the arch expansion but improves breathing.

Dr. Steve Lawson explaining TMJ and Sleep Therapy

Dr. Steve Lawson DMD

Dr. Steve Lawson graduated from the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Dentistry in 1986. While general dentistry was initially his focus, he soon developed a keen interest in Orthodontics and the dynamics of the growing face.


Dentofacial Development and Your Child’s Health. The overall health and wellness of a growing child is every parent’s concern. The growth and development of your child’s face and mouth is directly linked to his or her systemic health and wellness during formative years into adulthood. The mouth takes in nourishment and the breath of life. As such the skeletal and muscular structures that support the mouth and the airway should be evaluated from an early age on a regular basis.


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