TMJ and Sleep Apnea
Our team of general dentists and specialists has the skill and experience necessary to handle a wide range of dental needs. So aside from services you might expect, like dental cleanings and fillings, we can address other problems like TMJ problems and sleep apnea.
If you wonder what these two problems have in common, the answer is that in both cases, we use customized oral appliances to treat them.
The joint that controls the up and down and side to side movement of your jaw is called the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). When this joint isn’t working correctly and causes you pain, we call it temporomandibular disorder, or TMD.
Problems with your TMJ are often related to a misaligned dental bite. Since the upper and lower jaws don’t meet properly when you bite down, you may grind and clench your teeth, which puts excess force on the joint.
This often occurs while you sleep, and you may not even know you’re doing it. And when the joint gets overworked, you wake up with headaches and pain your jaw, neck, and shoulders.
How We Treat TMD
At PhD Dental, we can often provide relief for these painful symptoms by taking the stress off of the jaw joint. Treatment involves using a customized oral device called a mouth guard or oral splint that you wear over your teeth to prevent grinding and give the TMJ a chance to rest.
If you grind your teeth or wake up with pain in your head, neck, or jaw, please call to learn more about TMJ treatment at our LA, Inglewood, Lynwood, and Pico Rivera dental offices.
Solutions for Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Does your partner complain about your loud snoring? All of us snore from time to time, but if it’s keeping your family awake at night, it may be a sign of a more complicated problem.
When you lay down to sleep, the muscles and soft tissue in the back of your throat naturally relax. But for some people, this action completely closes up their airway and prevents them from breathing properly. This is called sleep apnea.
If you don’t get enough oxygen, your body tells you to wake up and breathe. When you do, you gasp for air, making a loud snorting sound. These episodes can happen hundreds of times a night for some people which means that they don’t get any restful sleep.
In turn, this leads to numerous other health problems:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attacks
- Difficulty concentrating
- Daytime sleepiness
- Drowsy-driving accidents
Treating Sleep Apnea
Since sleep apnea can be life-threatening, the first step is to find out how severe the problem is. A sleep study prescribed by your doctor measures your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing while you sleep. In cases of severe sleep apnea, your doctor will probably recommend a CPAP mask that helps you breathe freely.
For mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea, our dentists can prescribe a customized oral device that you wear while you sleep. The device is worn over your front teeth and positions your jaw slightly forward, which prevents your tongue from falling back and closing your airway.
Call Us to Get the Relief You Need
If you or a loved one are dealing with TMJ problems or sleep apnea, please call PhD Dental to arrange an appointment. One of the experienced dentists at our LA, Inglewood, Lynwood, or Pico Rivera dental offices will evaluate your situation and help you get the relief you need.