Problems with your jaw and the muscles in your face that control it are known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). It is often caused by grinding or clenching your teeth, which puts a lot of pressure on the joint. Patients usually grind and clench their teeth at night and are unaware of the problem until morning jaw pain occurs or told by a family member or friend who hear them. Custom occlusal night guards can be a relieving supplemental treatment for those who suffer from TMD.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the closure of the throat due to relaxation of the neck muscles. These closures during sleep cause pauses in breathing which can last seconds to minutes. When your body senses that it can not breath, it causes you to wake up. The result is a poor quality of sleep that frequently leads to excessive sleepiness and is related to serious health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and depression. Oral appliances that move the lower jaw forward can often be used with moderate success in select cases. Snoring can also be treated with similar dental appliances.
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