Sleep Apnoea & TMJ Treatment Brighton, Brisbane
Has your partner ever told you that you snore loudly or that you seem to wake up without breathing multiple times in the night? If you have concerns about sleep apnoea, you may be experiencing a range of symptoms or risk factors:
- A feeling of fatigue throughout the day
- Chronic headaches
- Difficulty staying asleep
- High blood pressure
- Loud and chronic snoring
- Mood swings, irritability or depression
- Being overweight/obesity
- Pauses in your breathing
- Trouble paying attention
- Waking up frequently
Types of Sleep Apnoea
There are three main kinds of sleep apnoea:
Obstructive. The most common form, it occurs when your throat muscles relax, causing a narrowing of your airway. Your brain, sensing that you cannot breathe, will wake you to reopen your airway. You may wake up to hundreds of times every night. It’s no wonder that you might feel exhausted all day!
Central. If your brain doesn’t send the right signals to the breathing muscles, you don’t breathe for short periods.
Complex. A combination of obstructive and central sleep apnoea occurs, which is also called treatment-emergent central sleep apnoea.
The Risk Factors of Sleep Apnoea
You might be wondering if you might have sleep apnoea or have a chance of developing it. Certain groups have a higher risk of sleep apnoea. It happens more often in males. It is commonly associated with high blood pressure and diabetes. Being overweight or obesity, snoring and excessive daytime tiredness may also mean that you have sleep apnoea.
When to Seek Help
It can be difficult to decide when you need to seek the help of a medical professional, particularly if you’ve suffered from a problem for a longer time. If you think you may have sleep apnoea, we recommend that you book an appointment immediately. Getting the proper treatment can mean that you finally get the good night’s sleep you’ve hoped for, relieve your symptoms of pain and fatigue and help you enjoy your everyday life more.
If you think that your life may be affected and require treatment for sleep apnoea, please discuss it with a member of our team at your appointment. We will speak to you about your concerns and let you know how you can proceed to get the attention you need.
TMJ Treatment Can Help with Sleep Apnoea
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, also sometimes known as Temporomandibular Disorder or TMD, is a disorder that affects the jaw and can be a direct cause of sleep apnoea.
Symptoms can range from a simple clicking of the jaw when you open your mouth wide to more severe conditions when it feels as if the jaw completely dislocates or locks. Other symptoms include muscle pain in the jaw, headaches, misalignment of the jaw and ringing in the ears. If symptoms get worse when you clench your teeth, it is a strong indicator of TMJ disorder.
The good news is that as a TMJ dentist in Brisbane, we can treat TMJ disorder, and surgery is not usually necessary.
Common Causes of TMJ Disorder
The temporomandibular joint is complex, combining a hinge action and sliding motions. It is comprised of different bones and parts of bones that interact with one another. All are covered in cartilage and are separated by a small disk that keeps the movements smooth.
In short, there is a lot that can go wrong. TMJ disorders can be caused by any of the following circumstances:
- The disk eroding or moving out of its proper alignment
- Cartilage damage brought about by arthritis
- Impact damage to the joint, for example, after a car accident or sports injury
Often, however, the cause of the TMJ disorder is not clear. However, that does not prevent successful treatment by a TMJ dentist.
Treating TMJ Disorder
At this point, you are probably asking yourself, “Where is there a TMJ specialist near me, and what can he or she do about the condition?” The answer to the first part of the question is easy. At Brighton Dental Suite, we have successfully treated dozens of TMJ cases. The second part depends on one patient to another, so it is important to come in for a consultation to evaluate the options and agree on the most appropriate treatment plan.
The dentist will examine the jaw during the consultation and listen to its motion. They will press on different areas to identify any painful or tender spots. It will most likely be necessary to take X-rays, and sometimes, a CT or MRI scan will be required.
Treatment plans vary case by case. Sometimes, medication is necessary, including pain relief, anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxants. Other therapies supplementary to or instead of medication include oral splints, mouth guards and physiotherapy. Sometimes, counselling is appropriate to deal with contributory factors like jaw clenching, teeth grinding and fingernail biting.
Surgical procedures are not usually necessary and are only considered in severe cases or as a last resort when other options have not worked. For example, a modified condylotomy involves surgery on the mandible, not the joint itself. It can be helpful when TMJ disorder causes extreme symptoms like severe pain or locking of the jaw.
Get the Help and Attention You Deserve
Don’t let sleep apnoea prevent you or your partner from getting the rest you require. Contact our friendly team by phone or email today to arrange an appointment! Our experienced staff will evaluate you and make the appropriate recommendations for sleep apnoea & TMJ treatment in Brighton. If you’d like to be seen immediately, same-day visits are available. We also have convenient late opening hours.
* Any invasive or surgical procedure may carry risks. Before moving forward, it is recommended that you seek a second opinion from an appropriately licensed medical professional.
Common Questions and Answers Related to Sleep Apnoea & TMJ
What Happens if Sleep Apnoea is Left Untreated?
Several studies have shown a correlation between sleep apnoea and other severe medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, strokes and heart attacks. It is even associated with a shortened lifespan.
Can You Fix Sleep Apnoea?
The short answer is yes. The first thing is to identify the underlying cause. Then, appropriate treatment and lifestyle changes can reduce the severity and often eliminate the condition entirely.
Does Sleep Apnoea Only Affect Overweight People?
No. Being overweight is often a contributory factor, but not always. Sleep apnoea can affect skinny people, athletes and even children.
What is The Best Sleeping Position if You Have Sleep Apnoea?
Lying on your side or stomach can help alleviate mild cases of sleep apnoea, as it helps the airways to stay open. This can also reduce snoring.
Can TMJ Disorder and Jaw Pain Go Away on Its Own?
Sometimes, that is precisely what happens. The condition might resolve if it is brought about by strain, bruising or inflammation. However, it is still advisable to get checked out, as in other cases, the symptoms might worsen with time.
Is TMJ Disorder a Chronic Condition?
That varies from one case to the next. For some, it is a short-term and temporary condition triggered by an impact or even dental surgery and disappears as you recover. For others, it is a chronic condition that can negatively affect quality of life.
How Much Does TMJ Disorder Treatment cost?
TMJ treatment is highly variable depending on the presenting condition and treatment required. Treatment costs can range from $800 to up to $3000 over a period of 6 to 18 months. The most crucial part of the treatment of TMJ disorders is finding the correct diagnosis of the condition so the most appropriate treatment can be provided