It seems like more people than ever are struggling with getting enough sleep each night.
Most doctors look at chemical imbalances and stress as possible causes. But there’s something they often overlook: Jaw pain.
A serious condition, known as TMJ disorder, can lead to severe jaw pain, dental breakdown, and sleep disturbances.
What causes this disorder? Many might not know this, but this can be caused by jaw misalignment.
A Misaligned Jaw – Why This is a Red Flag at Our Noblesville Sleep Dental Office
When a patient comes into my TMJ dentist practice, I always check for misalignment. When I’ve determined that a patient has TMJ disorder, I want to take care of the situation quickly.
The reason: Misalignment can lead to a plethora of other problems.
Patients with TMJ disorder typically end up with:
- Ear aches
- Headaches and/or migraines
- Difficulty chewing
- Locking jaw joints
- Chronic neck, shoulder, and back pain
- Broken or chipped teeth
- Cracked teeth
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Bruxism (grinding of the teeth).
When the teeth or jaw is out of alignment, there’s no bite pressure balance. Therefore, the teeth that take the brunt of the force end up cracking or breaking.
Additionally, chronic bruxism can lead to wear facets in the biting surfaces of the teeth. When enamel breaks down, cavities soon follow.
What causes jaw misalignment? There are multiple factors, including genetics, poor dental health, and trauma. Missing teeth can lead to misalignment, as can a blow to the jaw joint, face, or head. With the jaw out of alignment, strain is put upon the muscles, joints, and other tissues, which leads to jaw pain.
Jaw Pain, Misalignment, and Sleep Disturbances – What’s the Connection?
When we experience jaw pain due to misalignment, it isn’t easy to sleep. Any type of pain can keep us up, but jaw pain is especially exasperating.
But it’s not just the pain that can keep us up. The sound of grinding our teeth can actually wake us up at night. And misalignment can make it difficult to breathe, even leading to sleep apnea.
If not treated by a TMJ and sleep apnea dentist, these sleep disturbances can get progressively worse.
For instance, sleep apnea can lead to:
- Weight gain and obesity
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Inability to concentrate
This is a serious issue, and getting assistance from a dental professional is vital.
3 Ways a Sleep Apnea and TMJ Dentist Helps Patients Get a Better Night’s Sleep
A Noblesville dentist can help reduce jaw pain and sleep disturbances in the following ways.
1. A TMJ Dentist Can Help Determine the Cause of Sleep Disturbances
The first thing I do when patients come to me is determine whether their sleep issues are caused by a jaw misalignment or not. If I suspect they have sleep apnea, I’ll recommend dental treatments, as well as a visit to their general physician to order a sleep study.
2. A Noblesville Dentist Can Work to Prevent Misalignments
Prevention is something my team and I are passionate about. We want to help our patients reduce their risk of decay, gum disease, and other dental issues by taking preventative action. This can range from regular dental exams and cleanings to wearing a nightguard to prevent bruxism.
3. A Sleep Apnea Dentist Can Offer Effective Treatment Options
In my TMJ dentist practice, patients can receive treatments and products that can reduce the effects of jaw pain and misalignment. They’ll also improve sleep!
These products and treatments include:
- Mouth guards to protect the teeth from bruxism
- Treatment from a TENS unit
- An orthotic stabilizer
- Bite adjustment/equilibration
- Orthodontic treatment
- MicroO2™ – a CPAP alternative.
Improving Sleep Can Improve Our Overall Quality of Life
Not only will treatment from a sleep apnea and TMJ dentist help improve our jaw pain and dental health, it can do wonders for our overall health.
The body uses the time we’re asleep to repair and rejuvenate itself. So, when we sleep better, our risk of developing sleep apnea, heart disease, and a weakened immune system is lowered.
We should never take sleep for granted. Anyone experiencing lack of sleep due to jaw pain should see Noblesville dentist, Dr. Mike Deldar as soon as possible.
Do you wake up tired in the morning? Do you experience a lot of jaw pain? Contact our sleep apnea dentist in Indianapolis – Dr. Deldar, to find out if you have jaw misalignment or not. If you do, we’ll create a treatment plan that will help you get out of pain and get a better night’s sleep!