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Do you snore loudly and feel excessively fatigued throughout the day? If so, it's possible you suffer from a sleep condition known as obstructive sleep apnea.
A person snores when his/her airway becomes blocked during the deep breathing that occurs while sleeping. Sometimes, the tongue relaxes and falls back toward the throat, blocking the flow of air. As less air is able to pass through, you begin to snore – a result of the vibrations in your throat. Not all snoring is the result of sleep apnea, but most people suffering from this sleep condition snore.
In addition to snoring, symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea may include:
The consequences of sleep apnea may continue throughout the day, manifesting in ways including:
This sleep disorder is quite serious. As your body and brain are repeatedly denied oxygen throughout the night, you can experience serious health effects as a result. Sleep apnea has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease and an increased risk for type 2 diabetes and obesity. To avoid these more serious and life-threatening complications, it is best to visit our Houston sleep apnea dentist to learn about safe and effective treatment options that can help prevent airway obstruction and restore a full and restful night’s sleep.
Anyone can develop sleep apnea. That said, some people have certain risk factors that may make them more likely to develop the condition:
Sleep apnea can be a serious sleep condition, but treatment options are improving every day. While bulky machines used to be the only reliable treatment, oral appliances have proved to be excellent options for many patients. And there are numerous additional sleep apnea treatments available at our Houston office to help patients find relief.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which connects your jaw to your skull, is one of the most complex joints in your body. It utilizes both a hinge action and sliding motions to enable your jaw to move up and down and side to side. Your lower jaw has rounded ends that move in and out of the joint socket when you perform routine functions such as talking, chewing and yawning. Cartilage covers the bones of the joint, and shock-absorbing disks separate the joint’s ball and socket to ensure that all movements are smooth.
However, when this joint is out of alignment, you can suffer debilitating pain, discomfort, and a loss of function.
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD), also referred to as Myofascial Pain Dysfunction (MPD) or temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ). This is a chronic illness that affects 75 million people at any one time. There are many people who have no pain but still have an occlusal disease (misaligned bite). Worn, chipped or broken teeth, broken fillings, changing position or shape of the smile are all indications that can benefit from treatment.
Due to the complexity of the TMJ, it is often difficult to determine the exact cause. The condition can develop from an injury to the jaw, TMJ, head muscles or neck muscles. Often, these injuries are caused by a jarring blow or whiplash.
Other possible causes of TMD include:
TMD can be extremely painful. While this pain may be short-lived, it is possible for it to become chronic, lasting for many years and causing degenerative problems if left untreated. Common TMJ symptoms include:
Worn teeth are not normal, but can be a common symptom of TMJ. As a result of TMD, you may suffer from cracked, loose, missing, chipped or broken teeth.
Not every type of headache is related to the temporomandibular joints, and some headaches have no identifiable cause, which can make searching for headache and migraine treatment difficult. Most headaches fall into one of three categories:
Of these types, the headaches that may be caused by a TMJ disorder are:
Primary headaches are the most common headaches, affecting more than 90 percent of the population. TMJ can often cause, trigger or worsen primary headaches. Tension headaches, the most common form of primary headaches, are often related to TMJ disorders.
These headaches are caused because the temporomandibular joint is out of alignment, which leads to tension in your muscles and can cause headaches.