Do you suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) or sleep apnea? Did you know that we can treat both these problems at Garden Springs Dental with a customized oral appliance?
TMD is a condition that affects your jaw joint, causing painful symptoms like headaches and neck and jaw pain. Sleep apnea disrupts your normal breathing and puts your overall health at risk.
There is no reason to suffer from the symptoms of either TMD or sleep apnea. You may be surprised to learn that a dentist can treat both of these disorders.
During their training, dentists don’t just study teeth. To accurately diagnose oral health problems, they must spend years studying the structure of the head and jaw. This experience allows them to identify and address problems like sleep apnea and TMD.
TMD refers to a collection of disorders related to your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). These disorders are often the result of chronic teeth grinding or a misaligned dental bite. Symptoms include jaw pain, headaches, and tension in your neck and shoulder muscles.
Sleep apnea is a result of an obstruction of the airway. The condition is characterized by shallow breathing, snoring, and a choking sensation. Since sleep apnea affects your breathing, your oxygen levels drop and put you at greater risk of risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. Repeated attempts to catch your breath result in disrupted sleep, which can cause you to wake up feeling tired, leaving you feeling sleepy and less productive during your day.
These disorders create distinctly different problems, but they are similar in that our doctors at Garden Springs Dental can often effectively treat the causes and the symptoms of either with customized devices.
It is often possible to correct TMJ pain with an FDA-approved bite guard called an NTI device. It is designed to prevent your upper and lower jaw from coming into contact with each other as you sleep. This appliance reduces stress on the jaw joint and provides relief from pain because the jaw joint has a chance to rest.
Severe sleep apnea is often treated with a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. But because these devices can be bulky and uncomfortable, many people resist using them, leaving their condition untreated.
If you snore excessively or feel tired upon waking, we recommend you contact your primary physician. He or she may recommend a sleep study to determine the extent of the problem. Depending on the results, you may be a candidate for a customized device that holds your jaw in a forward position while you sleep. This position keeps the airway clear so you can breathe more easily and eliminates symptoms like snoring or shallow breathing.
However, since sleep apnea is a serious condition, it is important for us to communicate with your regular doctor or specialist so we can decide if this type of device is the right choice for you.
Treating TMJ pain or sleep apnea may not require involved medical procedures. The only way to know for sure is to call our office to arrange for a consultation. We will work with you to find the solution that provides the relief you need.