snoring obstructive sleep apneaSnoring & TMJ Therapy

Do you snore? Grind your teeth? Wake up with morning headaches or jaw pain?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you might suffer from a dental-related condition, such as teeth grinding (bruxism), clenching or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ/TMD).

Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Dentists and physicians have worked together for years to address the underlying causes of snoring. Chronic, loud snoring accompanied by gasps for air can be symptoms of a serious health condition, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

OSA occurs when the soft tissues surrounding the airway relax and collapse during sleep, creating an obstruction of the upper airway and causing a pause in breathing for several seconds. As this repeats, the body is deprived of oxygen. In addition to fatigue and daytime drowsiness, over time, OSA can lead to a number of health problems such as hypertension, weight gain, stroke and depression.

A diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea is made by a physician following a sleep study. In some cases, patients may benefit from dental sleep appliances which support the oral soft tissues and help maintain an open airway during sleep. The dentist will work closely with the treating physician to design an oral appliance that supports medical treatment for OSA.

TMJ

The Temporomandibular joint is the triangular-shaped joint just under the ears that connects the lower jaw and supports movement when opening and closing the mouth. There are two TMJs, one on each side. Some patients experience symptoms that are linked to TMJ disorders or Temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD). They may include jaw pain or tension, headaches or neck and shoulder soreness.

Treatment for TMD is therapeutic and involves a comprehensive evaluation of pain "triggers" and timing of symptoms. It is commonly linked to teeth grinding (bruxism) and clenching, habits which generally occur during sleep. Often a nightguard (bite splint) appliance is designed to protect the teeth and minimize stress on the TMJs during sleep.

A good night's sleep is important to your health. If you are experiencing snoring, morning headaches or jaw soreness, please Contact Us for more information about sleep apnea and TMJ disorders.

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