Suffering From TMJ Disorder?
Our dentist can give you treatment if you suffer from TMJ disorder. Dr. Dennis Nagata can help relieve pain and symptoms so that you can get a better night’s sleep and have your oral functions restored. To learn more about our TMJ treatments in Honolulu, Hawaii, call Dental Sleep Medicine Hawaii to schedule your next visit.
What is TMJ?
TMJ disorder is when the temporomandibular joint in your jaw is misaligned, stressed or injured. This can be a result of arthritis, facial trauma, stress or bruxism, and it can result in symptoms such as:
- Grinding of the teeth, especially at night
- Clicking or popping sounds in the jaw when you open and close your mouth
- Pain from chewing, biting and speaking
- Pain in the neck, shoulders or ears
- Frequent headaches
- Inability to open your mouth wide to chew, speak or yawn
- A locked jaw
How TMJ and Sleep Apnea Relate
TMJ disorder and sleep apnea often correlate, since one can be a symptom of the other. When a patient’s airway collapses, the body will push the lower jaw forward to open it up. This is a constant motion that your mouth does throughout the night, causing stress on your temporomandibular joint. If you already have TMJ, the stress and tension on your jaw can increase the possibility of getting sleep apnea.
TMJ and sleep apnea can also be caused by jaw misalignment problems. If you have an over-bite, narrow jaw or craniofacial abnormalities, it can result in your airway being obstructed.
If your tongue does not fit properly in your mouth, it may fall back and obstruct your airway. Your tongue plays a significant part in your oral structure. One of the reasons is that it acts as a cushion for your jaw. It is meant to be a dental arch support but can change the shape of the upper jaw during child development if the child is a mouth breather. Over time, the tongue will drop down to allow breath through the mouth, causing an underdeveloped jaw and constricted dental arch. This can lead to TMJ problems which often show up in patients as they get older.
TMJ can often be dismissed as a sign of age, even though the signs that accompany it may point to the possibility of sleep apnea. If you are not getting a restful sleep due to jaw pain, we invite you to come to Dental Sleep Medicine Hawaii for a sleep study, to help determine whether your TMJ symptoms may be an underlying symptom of obstructive sleep apnea.
Reliable TMJ Treatments in Honolulu
TMJ treatments depend on the severity of your symptoms and can include mouth guards and night guards, facial relaxation exercises, BOTOX® injections to relieve pain and relax the muscles, stress counseling, restorative dental treatments, and even jaw surgery for the most severe cases.
At Dental Sleep Medicine Hawaii, we offer mouth guards and oral appliances to help your jaw rest in place while you sleep. Dr. Nagata may also recommend a CPAP machine for certain conditions. If you suffer from regular pain in your jaw caused by a TMJ disorder, we encourage you to come visit us at Dental Sleep Medicine Hawaii! Give us a call at 808-946-6326 to plan your visit.