Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)
With life becoming busier, increasing job demands and the desire to spend quality time with our families, the importance of staying healthy is at an all-time high. There isn’t very much time for downtime related to our health. Many of our guests don’t realize the connection of oral health to our bodies’ systemic health. As part of our total health approach we address signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders (TMD). These disorders can range from something as simple as a misaligned bite to headaches, vertigo and jaw or neck pain. For instance, Julie, one of our guests, didn’t realize her other recurring conditions (headaches, pain running down her neck and arm, muscle spasms, etc.) could be corrected by stabilizing and correcting her bite. Not only did Julie obtain a functionally correct bite, but also eliminated years of pain, headaches, broken teeth and ended up with a beautiful smile!
While treating other TMD guests we started to notice that some didn’t heal as quickly as others, if at all. Upon asking questions and reviewing complete medical histories we discovered several symptoms: hypertension, history of heart attacks, fibromyalgia, depression, weight gain and gastric reflux were common among many TMD patients. There have been many studies that relate some of these illnesses to poor quality of sleep: Sleep apnea or hypopnea.
Sleep provides the necessary time for our bodies to repair and heal. However, when sleep is interrupted by snoring, sleep apnea or hypopnea (partially or totally obstructed air flow) our bodies do not heal properly and other symptoms begin to surface.
The most common sleep apnea symptoms include:
- Waking up with a sore and/or dry throat
- Loud snoring
- Occasionally waking up with a choking or gasping sensation
- Sleepiness during the day
- Morning headaches
- Forgetfulness, mood changes and attention deficit
- Recurrent awakening or insomnia