Monthly Archives: November 2015

TMJ Treatment—Frequently Asked Questions

TMJ treatment in houston tx | Royal Dental TMJ treatment can relieve pain and prevent further oral health problems in the future. Get the answers to frequently asked questions below:

I’ve heard the terms TMJ and TMD used interchangeably—is there a difference?

The terms TMJ and TMD are sometimes used interchangeably because they are closely related, but there is a difference between the two terms.

TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint. This is the joint that connects the lower part of the jaw (or mandible) to the other parts of your head. The TMJ allows you to move your jaw up and down and from side to side. It makes it possible to eat, talk, and yawn.

TMD stands for Temporomandibular Joint Disorders—in other words: problems with the TMJ.

What types of TMD are there?

TMD includes a group of conditions that cause problems with the TMJ. Three types of TMD include:

  • Myofascial pain—discomfort and pain in the muscles near the jaw as well as the neck and shoulder muscles.
  • Injury to the joint that is caused when the joint is dislocated or the disc is displaced.
  • Degenerative disease caused by arthritis in the jaw joint.

What causes TMD?

TMD can be caused by injuries, arthritis, stress, and overuse of the muscles in the area.

What are common signs and symptoms of TMD?

Common signs and symptoms of TMD include:

  • Clicking or popping in the jaw when you chew or talk
  • Stiff or sore jaw muscles
  • Limited movement of the jaw (lockjaw)
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Chronic jaw pain
  • Neck, back, and shoulder pain or tension
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Having misaligned teeth

How is TMD treated?

If you’ve noticed any symptoms of TMD, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist. There are a variety of treatment options available depending on your individual problem. In some cases surgery is necessary, but in many cases, TMJ problems can be treated with physical therapy, stretching exercises, orthodontic correction, prescription medication, or a compress to relieve sore muscles. If you’d like to learn more about how TMJ problems are treated, schedule an appointment at Royal Dental.

Understanding Sleep Apnea

Sleeping WomanDo you wake up in the morning feeling just as tired as when you went to bed at night? You may be suffering from sleep apnea. Here’s what you should know:

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition where a person experiences sudden interruptions in breathing repeatedly throughout the night. Some patients with sleep apnea could temporarily stop breathing hundreds of times each night. In addition to a stoppage in breathing, this triggers the brain to wake up. Most patients with sleep apnea don’t remember waking up repeatedly throughout the night, but the brain is still being temporarily jarred into that awake state.

Most cases of sleep apnea would be classified as obstructive sleep apnea. This occurs when something blocks your airway while you’re sleeping. This could be the tongue, tonsils, or tissue in the throat.

What signs should you watch for?

Signs of sleep apnea include:

  • Waking up to a gasping or choking sensation
  • Loud snoring
  • Headaches in the mornings
  • Irritability, forgetfulness, and exhaustion
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Sleepiness while driving
  • Trouble focusing at work

If you notice any of these signs, you should contact your doctor.

What other problems are associated with sleep apnea?

In addition to making day-to-day life pretty miserable, sleep apnea can have devastating long-term consequences. Some serious problems associated with sleep apnea include strokes, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and irregular heartbeats.

It is important to treat sleep apnea as quickly as possible so that it doesn’t interfere with your job, make you an unsafe driver, or lead to a stroke or a deadly heart condition. Contact your doctor or your dentist if you think you might have sleep apnea.

Treatment Options

There are a variety of treatment options available that can restore your health and energy. The treatment necessary will depend on your specific situation. Some treatments include:

  • Tonsillectomy to remove the obstruction in the throat
  • Weight loss to reduce the mass of the airway
  • Change in sleeping position
  • Corrective surgery
  • Use of a CPAP machine to keep air flowing into the body
  • Custom oral devices that keep the airway open

If you’d like to learn more about sleep apnea and the treatment options available, schedule a consultation at Royal Dental.

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