Sleep Apnea in Adults
Sleeping With TMJ – Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment
Obstructive sleep apnea Is the most common sleep apnea diagnosis. If you suffer from TMJ, sleep will most likely be affected negatively. This disorder is caused when the soft tissue on the back of your throat relaxes during sleep and blocks your airway. As airflow stops, this is called an apnea, the oxygen level in your blood drops, causing your brain to kick start the breathing process, which is accompanied by gasping or choking. Dentistry can help sleep apnea. Sleep apnea, with the constant jolts awake, affects how you feel when you wake up and can lead to chronic health conditions. It can even be fatal if the case is severe and left untreated. Untreated for years, research shows that sleep apnea patients may lose 20-50% of their lifespan.
CPAP is used by many sleep apnea sufferers, but for some it can be cumbersome and not all patients respond to the therapy.There are several non-invasive, nonsurgical procedures to treat sleep apnea utilized by dentists trained in dental sleep medicine. Oral appliance therapy, for example, can be very effective in treating patients who snore and those suffering from mild to moderate sleep apnea as well as those patients with severe sleep apnea who cannot tolerate CPAP.
Once a patient has been diagnosed with a sleep apnea condition by a physician, oral appliance therapy is often a nonsurgical dental option for sleep apnea treatment. Oral appliances require specific design, fabrication and customized fittings to meet individual patient needs for proper forward repositioning of the lower jaw and tongue in order to improve the opening of the upper airway during sleep for successful treatment results. Remember, only a dentist specially trained to treat sleep problems can provide these services.
Contact TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of New England today to discuss your sleep apnea.
What is Snoring?
Snoring is the fluttering sound created by the vibration of tissues in the back of the throat and nose.
Vibrating tissues can include:
- Nasal airway
- Soft palate
In 80% of cases, the soft palate is the primary contributor to the problem.
There are studies that link snoring and and cardiovascular disease.
Here at the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of New England we utilize advanced technology and specialized equipment to measure the airway, predict improvement, determine appliance design, and monitor success and efficacy of the oral appliance.
Treating snoring and sleep apnea requires a team approach. Dentists are the perfect practitioner to recognize oral symptoms and signs common to sleep apnea sufferers. Dentists — by the limits of licensure — cannot make a diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). For that you need to visit a physician.
Some of the most serious health problems related to sleep breathing problems are:
- Heart attack(myocardial infarction)
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Hight Blood Pressure
- Heart Failure
- Ischemic Heart Disease
- Learning and memory problems
- Sexual dysfunction
- Cardiac arrhythmia (irregular pulse)
Symptoms you or your sleep partner may identify:
- Chronic loud snoring
- Choking or gasping for air during sleep
- Episodes of stopping to breathe
- Morning headaches
- Feeling unrefreshed in the morning
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Difficulty getting to sleep
- Dry mouth or sore throat upon waking
- Difficulty concentrating
How to improve the quality of your sleep:
- Establish relaxing pre-sleep routines.
- Minimize light, noise, and temperature extremes in the bedroom
- Avoid large meals just before bed; it keeps your digestive system active and disrupts sleep.
- Avoid strenuous exercise within 2-3 hours of bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine, or other stimulants within 4 hours of bedtime.
- Don’t sleep with an animal in your bedroom.
Read about our use of laser technology to treat snoring and sleep apnea, right in our Bolton office.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism, also known as tooth grinding, is the excessive grinding of the teeth and/or excessive clenching of the jaw.
It is classified now as a movement disorder. It is unrelated to normal function such as eating or talking. Bruxism is a common problem; reports of prevalence range from 8–31% in the general population. Bruxism may cause minimal symptoms, and therefore people may not be aware of the condition. Several symptoms are commonly associated with bruxism, including hypersensitive teeth, aching jaw muscles, and headaches. Bruxism may cause tooth wear, and even damage or break teeth and dental restorations such as crowns and fillings.
What is Oral Appliance Therapy?
An oral appliance is a small acrylic device that fits over the upper and lower teeth.
The purpose of an oral appliance is to advance the lower jaw or tongue, moving the base of the tongue forward and in turn opening the airway. This improves breathing and reduces snoring and sleep apnea. The appliances are comfortable and well tolerated by the patient.
Indication for oral appliances
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has stated that an oral appliance is indicated for the treatment of mild to moderate OSA (obstructive sleep apnea).
- Heavy snoring
- Poor tolerance to CPAP
- Failure of surgery
- Use during travel
- In combination with CPAP
Possible side effects of oral appliance therapy:
- Tension in the jaw
- Sore teeth and gums
- Excessive salivation or dry mouth
- Slight movement of teeth
- Loosening of dental restorations (fillings, crowns)
If you are experiencing bruxism, snoring, and/or sleep apnea, see your dentist today! If you are in the Bolton area, or anywhere in New England, your sleep apnea dentist should be Dr. David at TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of New England. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Different Oral Appliances Used:
Learn more about what our patients have to say
about the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of New England
Beautiful experience. My third child, was my first with ties. Dr. Kaplan took his time showing me images of my sons ties and explaining them to me so I understood them more. He also made the atmosphere very comfortable! We had all 3 ties released (tongue, lip, and cheek) done in about 10 minutes. Dr. Kaplan checked in with me about 5 minutes after the procedure and explained everything to me about follow up appointments with lactation and chiro and how to massage my babies mouth post-op. Highly recommend for infant tie issues!
Dr. David is by far one of the most compassionate dentists I have ever met. Dr. David and her team have a thirst for knowledge and are constantly furthering their education. I would highly recommend the TMJ & Sleep Centre of New England if you have any TMJ/Sleep needs.
I have only been for initial exam and consultation, so this review is for that. I love the office. They have great technology and a nice ambiance if you can believe it. Pretty rare to find a dentist with nice views but I had beautiful trees to look at outside the window while I sat in the chair. The tech and dentist were so caring and really listened to me and took their time to make me feel at ease. I have had some less than savory and even traumatic experiences at other dentists , I can say that I feel very comfortable and trusting with Dr David. I think she is a brilliant doctor who really cares about people and looks at the whole picture , not just your teeth. I’m happy I found her and ready to start my treatment plan. This is by far not the cheapest dentist but I only have one set of teeth, so trusting myself to the best.