What is the TMJ
The temporo-mandibular joint is the bony joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull (one on each side). The alignment of this joint is heavily dependent on the arrangement of the teeth, the bite, and the muscles and ligaments attached to the lower jaw.
Any disturbance in tooth alignment and muscle harmony can affect the normal functioning of the TMJ. It may be painful, or may not have any symptoms. Here are the common signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders:
- Joint pain/discomfort
- A buzzing sound in the ear
- Inability to open the mouth wide
- Dislocation of the jaw
- Uncomfortable bite
- Locked jaw (unable to open or close with ease)
- Vague pain on the side of the face
- Worn-down teeth
- Night grinding or clenching
What should you do?
TMJ problems can be multifactorial. The quality and quantity of sleep plays a significant role in the health of the TMJ.
The best thing to do is to get professional advice for this complex condition.
Get in touch with us if you want to know more about it.
Being a complex disorder, the management may need a multi-disciplinary approach. We offer the following treatments:
- Night bite guards/splints
- Minor bite adjustments
- Injections into the muscle
- Home-care relaxation exercises
- Full-mouth rehabilitation to stabilise the bite
Sleep apnoea is a sleep disorder characterised by pauses in breathing, or periods of shallow breathing during sleep. Each pause can last for a few seconds to a few minutes, and they happen many times a night.
In the commonest form, this follows loud snoring. There may be a choking or snorting sound as breathing resumes. As the disorder disrupts normal sleep, those affected may experience sleepiness or feel tired during the day. In children it may cause problems in school, or hyperactivity.
Signs and symptoms of sleep apnoea
- Headache, neck ache
- Night grinding/worn teeth
- Poor concentration
- Daytime sleepiness
- Acid reflux
What should I do about it?
If you have several of the above symptoms, you should contact your doctor ASAP. Normally your doctor may prescribe a sleep study. Depending on the results, treatment options are then discussed with the patients.
How can a dentist help?
Dentists are often the first health professionals who come across patients with sleep disorders. In a routine dental check-up, dentists evaluate the cause of worn-down teeth and night grinding. If they suspect sleep disturbances, they will refer the patient to the doctor first.
These are similar to night guards, and are commonly recommended for sleep apnoea treatment. The dentist can make an anti-snoring device at a doctor’s or patient’s request. Anti-snoring devices are designed to bring the lower jaw forward, which opens up the airway for efficient breathing in of oxygen. Forward placement of the lower jaw eliminates or reduces the intensity of snoring.
- Custom-made for better fit and comfort
- Easy to transport
- Easy to clean
- Helps with night grinding