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TMJ and Sleep Apnea

Many of us wake up with morning headaches, tired jaws and sore muscles.

We think that it may be the pillow or the mattress. In fact, it could be a medical
condition called Bruxism. With time it leads to wearing down our natural teeth
and puts stress our jaw joints. People who grind experience up to 80 times more
tooth wear than those who do not. Reduce the risk of wear and damage to your
joints by wearing a night guard. It is a thin removeable appliance that is custom
made for you, that you wear when you sleep. In addition it relieves jaw, neck and
back pain, for those of us who work out and lift weighs it helps to preserve your
teeth and actually helps you to lift more with less risk of injury.

Grinding may also be a symptom of a more serious called Obstructive Sleep
Apnea. This condition occurs when your airway is closed when you sleep. Your
brain is not getting enough oxygen and tell your body to move your jaw forward
to open up your airway, resulting in grinding. If your Sleep Apnea is not
controlled, it may lead to a heart attack or a stroke. Sleep Apnea is diagnosed by a
sleep test in a lab or at home using a device that registers your breathing and
oxygen levels. It has been one of recently emerging diseases and many people
are affected.

You should consult your physician to see if you have sleep apnea. If you do you
will be fitted with a CPAP machine that helps you breathe at night. For those who
cannot wear one because they feel claustrophobic using a mouth or a nose mask
when they sleep, there is a dental device that we can make that fits comfortably
in your mouth and does not let your airway get closed.

If you suspect that you may grind, have problems sleeping at night or snore,
please contact our office for an evaluation. It is much better to catch a problem
early and have an easy correction then having major medical and dental problems
down the road.

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