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  :: TMJ SYMPTOMS AND APPLIANCES TREATMENT

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Temporo Mandibular Joint or TMJ related symptoms include an array of symptoms that many people suffer from. TMJ pain and related symptoms are poorly diagnosed and treated by the medical professionals and many people could go undiagnosed and/or untreated, unless observed and diagnosed by a dentist trained in TMJ. Since the TMJ is considered the "hinge" that articulate the upper and lower jaws. It involves many systems that suppose to work together, problems happen when the chewing muscles, jaw joint and teeth do not work together properly.

 Symptoms of TMJ disorders:


Symptoms of the TMJ disorders vary over a wide range, the most common being pain in the jaw, headaches, teeth clenching and grinding, ringing in the ears, dizziness, upper neck and/or facial pain. Difficulty or pain, upon opening of the mouth where the jaw feels stiff, tight, or tired, also difficulty or pain when chewing, or jaw "stuck" either open or closed. Common signs also include facial muscle spasm, fatigue, jaw, and facial pain; and noise from the joint area (e.g. clicking, popping), jaw shifting during inital opening.

 Treatment of TMJ disorders


In the treatment of TMJ disorders, diagnosis of the reason of the symptoms is key to proper treatment and management. Conservative and non surgical procedures are used by implementing oral appliances called repositioning splints, which aim to place the jaws at a position favorable for the joint and the surrounding muscles, and "cancels" the effects of a bad bite if any was present. Once relief is established in the new position desirable by the joint changes could be made to the teeth to guide the bite into the desirable position, these changes could be as simple as selective grinding of teeth surfaces which is known as occlusal adjustment, Orthodontic treatment might be indicated at many instances, and in other instances crowns and bridges and dentures could be used, eventually to restore normal function without needing to wear splints.

 Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Many people suffer from obstructive sleep apnea and go very frequently undiagnosed and/or untreated. The problem happens when an obstruction in the breathing airways happen during sleep and the person stop breathing for various frequencies and length of time. The intermittent episodes of complete cessation of breathing are due to a total airway collapse, despite a persistent effort to breathe. In obstructive sleep apnea breathing stops, a listener hears the snoring broken by a pause until the sleeper gasps for air and awakens. Obstructive sleep apnea disrupts ventilation and reduces the amount of oxygen supply to the blood, to the lung, to the heart, and to the brain, inducing sleep fragment, disrupting normal sleep cycles, and creating serious health problems such as hyperactivity in kids and congestive heart failure, heart attack, stroke, and sudden death during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially life-threatening medical disorder and progressively worsens with advancing age and weight gain. Most frequently the obstruction is thought due to the position of the tongue, so treatment is initiated to position the tongue and the lower jaw by using an oral appliance that is worn at night, this appliance is commonly reffered to as a snoring appliances, which position the obstructive tongue in a more anterior position and avoids the obstructive situation during sleep.

 Signs and symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea


Daytime symptoms include morning headaches, daytime sleepiness, chronic fatigue, personality changes, irritability, anxiety or depression, poor job performance, clouded memory, intellectual deterioration, decreased sex drive, dry mouth upon awakening, hypertension, coronary artery disease. Night time signs include non restful sleep, snoring, gasping for air after periods of holding breath during sleep, which is either identified by a family member or through a sleep study at specialized labs. Furthermore, patients with obstructive sleep apnea present risk to the general public safety by causing an increase in vehicle accidents.


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