Oral Appliance TMD and Sleep Apnea Treatment
Do you suffer from regular pain in your jaw? Does your partner complain that you snore loudly or that you wake up gasping for air at night? You may benefit from a specially made oral appliance like those made at Northpoint Dental Care. For patients with mild to moderate conditions of temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), an oral appliance may be your solution to a comfortable jaw and a restful night’s sleep.
The Relationship between TMD and Sleep Apnea
The only joint in the human body whose placement is dependent on the location and orientation of the teeth is the temporomandibular joint. As such, there is a significant link between the existence of discomfort in the jaw, and the obstruction of airways. The discomfort felt in your jaw may stem from the same poor alignment that causes you to snore.
With the proper oral appliance, you can fix both the grinding of teeth, as well as the negative orientation of your jaw that causes discomfort and potential harm as you sleep.
Oral Appliances and TMD
If you suffer from chronic pain in your jaw when chewing and throughout the rest of your day, you may suffer from TMD due to clenched teeth at night and during the day, or else from excessive grinding. If this is the case, you may benefit from an oral appliance to be worn at night or during the day, dependent on your individual needs.
These appliances can help to relieve the tension placed on your jaw due to clenching during the night; which often affects you without your knowledge. Additionally, for patients with excessive grinding and clenching problems during the day, there exist appliances that can be worn during waking hours.
OSA Relieving Appliances
Certain oral appliances can also be used to correct the orientation of your jaw, freeing you from the obstruction that causes snoring at night. This treatment, for mild to moderate sufferers of OSA, can lead to a more open airway, and more restful sleep. These same appliances can sometimes relieve the tension placed on your jaw by grinding.
The Limits of Oral Appliances
While they present a non-invasive solution to the problems of TMD and OSA, oral appliances are not right for every patient. In some moderate and severe cases of OSA, the optimal solution is the adoption of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. This machine is considered the gold standard in the treatment of sleep apnea, and can even help certain patients who grind their teeth as a side effect of an obstructed airway.
Additionally, for patients who suffer from either condition due to a severe misalignment of the jaw may be better served by corrective surgery or targeted orthodontic treatment.
Contact Our Fishers Practice
If you are looking to alleviate the pain caused by TMD, or achieve better sleep through the treatment of sleep apnea, contact Northpoint Dental Care today. Dr. Brad Harris will work with Fishers residents and their physicians to determine whether you are a candidate for corrective oral appliances.
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