TMJ / Snoring

TMJ Disorder

TMJ disorders develop for many reasons. You might clench or grind your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles and stressing your TM (temporomandibular) joint. Or, you may have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease. Whatever the cause, the results may include a misaligned bite, pain, clicking or grating noises when you open your mouth, or trouble opening your mouth wide.

Using the latest in digital technology, Dr. Ward will xray and then examine your jaw to confirm the diagnosis of TMJ disorder and recommend treatment options.

There are many treatment options that improve the harmony and function of your mouth. Eating soft foods, applying ice and heat, taking medications and exercising your jaw are all things that can help. Resting your jaw is important because when your jaw muscles are relaxed, it takes the pressure off your joint allowing the healing process to begin. At Dr. Ward’s office he can take impressions of your jaw to make a clear plastic appliance that you wear over your top or bottom teeth to keep your teeth apart, helps to relax muscles, and reduce pain. They can also change jaw posture enough to stabilize some bite problems and reduce pressure in joints due to your TMJ disorder. In some severe cases orthodontics, such as braces or invisalign are indicated to correct your bite or restorative work may need to be done to repair damage to teeth from excessive grinding such as crowns or bridges.

Sleep Apnea or Snoring

More than 80 million people snore. This condition often disturbs the sleep of other family members and can disrupt one from getting a normal night’s sleep. Snoring can lead to serious health issues such as increased blood pressure and can increase the risk of strokes.

Sleep apnea is a more advanced condition of which snoring is often a predecessor. Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which a patient has pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. These can last from a few seconds to up to a minute and happen several times an hour. These pauses cause a lack of oxygen to the brain which can cause serious health issues. Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that if left untreated can lead to the increased risk of obesity, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack and diabetes. It can result in the inability to concentrate, irritability, drowsiness, daytime sleepiness and distracted driving.

Dr. Ward can treat snoring or sleep apnea with a custom made appliance. After consultation to determine the severity of the snoring or sleep apnea, impressions are taken and sent to a lab to fabricate the proper appliance to eliminate the snoring. The appliance is made from a soft comfortable rubber material that repositions the jaw which, in turn, prevents snoring.

If you or a family member is snoring please call Dr. Ward’s office for a consultation to find out more about this appliance

Night Guards

Many people are afflicted with bruxism, or teeth grinding. Some people may do this consciously during the day, but the majority of patients grind their teeth at night while they sleep. Tooth grinding can be caused by numerous factors including TMJ or stress. Grinding your teeth can damage enamel, wear down teeth, cause jaw pain, or irritate your gums. The noise from teeth grinding can also disturb those sleeping with you! The best solution to stop teeth grinding and its subsequent damage is to have a custom fitting mouth guard made by Dr. Ward.

The night guard, which is very similar to an athletic mouth guard, provides a barrier between top and bottom teeth while you sleep. All night guards are custom fitted for comfort and to allow proper breathing. Night Guards are very durable and can last up to ten years. They may also be worn during the day for people who clench their teeth due to stress.

If you wake up in the morning with pain in your head, neck or jaw; or if your spouse hears you grinding your teeth at night consult Dr. Ward for a night guard.

Sleep great! Get immediate relief from teeth grinding with our simple, cost effective process.