TMJ Relief and Management Treatments at ProSmiles
What is the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)
The highly flexible temporomandibular joint is a hinge joint that fuses the lower jaw (mandibular) to the skull. Positioned on either side of the jaw, the TMJ enables the jaw to move up, down, side to side, forward and backwards while supporting normal functionality for everyday activities. TMJ issues are a common complaint for many patients and if not treated may lead to severe and debilitating health issues in the future.
What is Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)?
Disorders affecting the TMJ are classified as Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD). Extensively researched a causal link is acknowledged between TMS and sleep and breathing disorders. TMD is defined as pain located anywhere along the jaw joint regarding the head and neck region. An inflammatory process, TMJs may refer pain and discomfort to other areas of the body to compensate. These flare ups of pain most usually occur in the neck, shoulder and back, leading to debilitation and postural issues. Complementary therapies alongside your ProSmiles treatment plan may include lifestyle changes and self-help physiotherapy exercises.
Common Symptoms of TMD
- Clicking, popping or grating of the jaw joint as you chew
- Muscle pain around the jaw, face and neck areas
- Pain in front of the ear that may reach the cheek, ear and temple
- Lock jaw – the jaw may feel tight and be difficult to open or close
- Headache or migraine
- Earache or a “buzzing” or blocked sensation in the ear
- Referred pain to other areas of the body – such as neckache or backache
TMD Treatments Melbourne
At ProSmiles we recognise the importance of approaching TMD as a multifactorial issue with various causes. Our holistic treatment plan includes the involvement of a multi-disciplinary team for optimal management and care. This may include chiropractors, physiotherapists, ENTs and sleep physicians.
Our experienced team at ProSmiles Camberwell and Collingwood are professionally trained in the recognition of TMD and in the practice of appropriate and effective treatment. Aided by advanced diagnostic technology, we will expertly diagnose your TMD issues at the source and treat it thoroughly, restoring pain free functionality.
We recommend and perform a full set of diagnostic records that feature of 3D scan of your TMJs and airways. Our process also involves photographic records, models of your jaws, postural analysis and a sleep study.
Fully informed we then work in consultation with sleep physicians, ENTs and physiotherapists to ensure you receive optimal care and outcomes.
Our preferred method of treatment depending on individual need may involve an orthotic splint and adjunctive therapy. Customising a fully fabricated night splint to fit your mouth, these specialised appliances decompress the TMJs and surrounding muscles to optimise function.
Depending on the severity of your case, results may vary, however on average treatment usually takes between 3-4 months. This interval allows our caring team to monitor your progress and guide you towards a pain free state.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea and Snoring
Do you or your children snore? Have you watched as your partner or child experiences a brief spell of non-breathing or a choking sound as they sleep? Have you woken fatigued with a dry mouth and headache? If you answer yes, you may have the first signs of sleep apnoea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) Explained
Snoring is usually one of the first symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, indicating that an airway is partially blocked. This may be a result from enlarged tonsils, a deviated nasal septum, sinus polyps or a collapsing soft palate during sleep.
Clinically classified as a sleep disorder, OSA is characterised by obstruction in the airway during the sleep cycle – more commonly the oropharynx or the throat. This obstruction causes a complete cessation of breathing, when lasting 10 seconds of more this cessation is classified as an apnoea event. At a detriment to your health these apnoea events can occur hundreds of times per night, every night if left untreated. This is a serious health issue that demands your attention.
OSA is taxing on the body, and your cardiovascular health.
The inability to breathe properly coupled with the repeated
episodes of partial or complete obstruction of the throat forces the heart to pump harder to circulate more oxygen around the body. This lack of proper inspiration of air and the cessation of breathing can lead to systemic health issues including:
- High blood pressure
- Heart Failure
- Memory Impairment
Treating Sleep Apnoea with ProSmiles
Our team of highly skilled dentists will assist you in the management of your OSA with the use of a customised oral appliance called a Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS). Highly effective as a treatment in mild to moderate OSA sufferers, a MAS is a comfortable alternative to medical modalities such as CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) breathing masks. Once a clinical diagnosis is delivered via a sleep study, our team will fabricate and customise a MAS appliance that offers a perfectly comfortable fit.
Innovative MAS therapy is a less obtrusive and more comfortable method of alleviating OSA than the traditional CPAP mask. Many sufferers of OSA, find the CPAP device, claustrophobic, or they may develop sinus issues from the pressure – all leading to the patient not wearing the mask and endangering their health. The MAS appliance is created to sit over your top and bottom jaw at night, fixing your bottom jaw and tongue forward as you sleep. This prevents your tongue and jaw from falling back and obstructing your airway. This minimally intrusive solution boasts a success rate as high as 70% and will improve the quality of your sleep, reduce snoring and more importantly, enhance your overall long term health.
Snoring Treatments Melbourne with ProSmiles
Experience uninterrupted sleep that supports good health with the team at ProSmiles. For the very latest advancements in the treatment of OSA, book your appointment today.