During treatment of our Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) patients, we noticed a reoccurring theme. Some patients were not healing quickly or not healing at all. Upon further discussion of their medical histories several symptoms reoccurred: hypertension, heart attacks, fibromyalgia, depression, weight gain and gastric reflux…all of which can be attributed to lack of sleep or sleep apnea.
After seeing this correlation many times, we began researching sleep apnea dental appliances as an alternative to the popular CPAP machine used to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). For some individuals who cannot tolerate the CPAP machine, an oral appliance may provide treatment for their condition. In addition, these appliances can also be designed to serve as orthotics that can help treat TMJ disorders.
These appliances aren’t for everyone – especially patients who suffer from severe OSA, where the CPAP is the gold standard. However, when working with our guests’ physicians as a team, we can collectively help determine what is best for each individual. These decisions are achieved through home sleep testing with devices like the Watch-PAT, which provides information on breathing and sleep patterns, and/or through studies at conventional sleep centers.
Breathing is vital to our survival. So is uninterrupted sleep, which is a time for rest, repair and renewal. Yet many individuals are experiencing nighttime sleep interruptions and not aware of them. Some signs and symptoms of poor sleep include memory and concentration difficulties, excessive tiredness, a slow metabolism, lack of energy and mood swings.
Depending on the diagnosis, treatment for sleep apnea may be as simple as a change in diet. Other guests may benefit from the help of a specially designed oral appliance, which prevents airway blockage. More severe cases of apnea may require surgery.
We, as a professional team, can help you decide which sleep device, TMJ treatment or combination of treatments will work best for you.