Whether it is snoring, difficulty sleeping, frequent headaches, or jaw pain, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) can be challenging to endure. Patients suffering from OSA and TMD can experience simultaneous relief through comprehensive treatment plans tailored specifically for them.
A neuromuscular orthotic is custom fit to each patient after a series of neuromuscular measurements (scans) are taken, changing the habitual bite. This bite change is cross-indexed by tomographic x-rays confirming the jaw (condylar) change from the patient’s original bite. The neuromuscular orthotic is used on the lower teeth to engage the jaw muscles in proper function (5000 per day). The functional corrections and changes are dynamic as opposed to the static application of a generic (not muscle measured) splint worn only at night.
At TMJ & Sleep Center, treatment will consist of a neuromuscular measure requiring two orthodontics over time (six to eight months) as the bite and posture change. Optimal bite and posture change can influence airway patency, to be optimized. This airway change can be measured by a take home sleep test that is confirmed by a pulmonary specialist. If necessary a proper sleep appliance will be measured and fabricated over functional muscle (jaw and posture) to create the airway needed for the individual.
Symptoms of sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects individuals of all ages. Common sleep apnea symptoms include pauses in breathing, loud breathing with daytime fatigue and sleepiness. More severe signs can include morning headaches, memory or concentration problems with depression, mood swings, and irritability. Type II diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure can occur as the patient’s cardiovascular system is stressed every night.
What is TMJ?
TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, affects the area near the ear where the jawbone connects to the skull. Symptoms of TMJ can include headaches and facial pain, difficulty chewing food, earaches, clicking sounds in the jaw when opening and closing the mouth, and a limited range of motion in the jaw.
How are TMJ and sleep apnea related?
Both are caused by improper jaw/condylar position that adversity affects the head, neck, and postural musculature, thereby bringing the head forward. Treating the muscles and posture for TMJ and sleep apnea assures the individual of not only a proper airway but functional non-painful muscles, so that airway, posture, and bite are working toward a restful sleep with proper muscle function during the day.
How long do you have to wear orthotics for TMJ correction?
Treatment for a temporomandibular disorder includes wearing an orthotic to reposition the jaw and optimize muscle function coinciding with postural therapy. Phase I TMJ therapy usually takes between six to eight months. There is a Phase II component when posture, muscle, and jaw stability is achieved to allow the patient to function without an orthotic. Each Phase II therapy is unique to the individual and will be discussed at the initial and subsequent visits during treatment. Wearing your orthotic consistently ensures that it has a chance to properly realign your bite and reduce muscle tension in the jaw, affecting forward head position.
Treatment for TMJ
TMJ treatment at the TMJ & Sleep Center is a transition to healing with bite and posture change through the use of neuromuscular orthotics. Posture change is also a transition to correct the forward head posture with the spinal misalignment TMJ dysfunction produces. The individual patient needs to be aware of the positive transitional change in bite and posture that they will work through.
Our office offers consultation/cure appointments at no charge for further information on the non-surgical treatment we offer. Schedule your appointment today and get started on the road to better sleep and health.