TMJ, Grinding & Sleep Apnea
Did you know approximately 76% of our population grinds their teeth (and some don’t even know it!) Often patients will experience the tight jaw, neck pains and headaches however are unsure why the come about.
Research has shown that during episodes of grinding, our heart rate and pulse increases, which has a correlation between stress and grinding. Although yoga classes may help you find your Zen, it may not prevent you from damaging your teeth!
TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint, which is vital in the function and movement of the jaw. Complications in this joint may be caused by misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excessive muscle tension. Problems in the TMJ can cause headaches, earaches, popping of the jaw, pain in the jaw muscles, and soreness in the area that may extend to the face. Dr. Levingart has various methods for TMJ treatments, including professional nightguards.
Signs you may need a nightguard:
- Wake up from your sleep clenching your teeth
- See small craze lines in your teeth
- Have experienced several cracked teeth
- Have pain in the morning in your jaw
- Have small notches at the gumline of your teeth
- Get headaches and a sore neck regularly
Your nightguard can be completed in two visits
At your first appointment in Central Park Dentists, a TMJ will evalaute your range of movement, feeling for tension in the muscles surrounding the jaw, and checking for clicking or crepitus (crackling noise) and nerve asymmetry. Since there are many TMJ appliances, careful assessment is necessary to ensure the right appliance is chosen for you. After your assessment, an impression of your teeth is taken and sent to our laboratory technician to create a strong, durable appliance that lasts for many years.
During your second appointment, we will have your new oral appliance ready for you. We will provide instructions on how to place the appliance, as well as take it out and clean it. We will also review the benefits of using the nightguard and the disadvantages of not using it. Be assured, Dr. Levingart will have your TMJ therapy in your best interest, and following her instructions will minimize any symptoms you may be experiencing.
Do you get several hours of sleep at night yet feel as if you are always tired? You may be suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder that interrupts your sleep patterns by causing you to stop breathing numerous times during the night. This results in a lack of oxygen to the brain and sleep disturbances, both of which can rob you of your productivity and leave you with a general feeling of malaise the following day. If you think you might have sleep apnea in Manhattan, NY, schedule a consultation with Dr. Levingart. Central Park Dentists takes a holistic view that can improve not only your quality of sleep but your quality of waking activities as well.