Relieve your Jaw Pain and get your life back!
Have you ever experienced jaw tiredness after eating a big meal? Are you unable to bite into a bagel? Perhaps you’ve noticed occasional popping, clicking, or crackling noise in your ears. Left untreated, this can lead to frequent headaches, jaw pain, neck pain, and feelings of generalized malaise.
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain can result from direct trauma such as hitting your head, or from indirect trauma such as whiplash. The more frequent cause of TMJ pain is repetitive joint compression while clenching. Many of us clench excessively hard during sleep and don’t even realize it. People with weak shoulder muscles or sleep apnea tend to have head-forward posture which strains neck muscles and exacerbates TMJ pain.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF JAW (TMJ) PAIN?
- Generalized ache in the jaw joint area or jaw muscles.
- Clicking or popping jaw joints on opening or closing.
- Limited range of jaw opening (less than width of 3 fingers).
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO ELIMINATE JAW (TMJ) PAIN?
- Align the teeth to distribute biting forces more evenly.
- Fill spaces with bridges or implants to prevent tooth movement.
- Wear a custom appliance to control tooth-clenching forces.
OTHER THINGS THAT MAY LEAD TO TMJ PAIN ARE:
- Worn, loose, or missing teeth.
- Gum problems.
- Partial or full dentures that do not fit properly.
- Habits such as biting a pen or fingernails.
If you are concerned that you, or a loved one, may have signs of TMJ problems, we encourage you to call our office to schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Alter (416) 485-5485.
Get The Sleep You Deserve!
More than one million Canadians have sleep disorders. These problems often go undetected or misdiagnosed. One type of disorder, sleep apnea, affects people of all ages. Untreated sleep apnea affects your general well-being by increasing your likelihood of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, or Type 2 diabetes. Some other consequences of sleep apnea are impaired memory and concentration, daytime sleepiness, teeth clenching, headaches, and mood changes resulting from jaw and facial pain.
SLEEP APNEA SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Family members are usually the first to pick up on the signs of sleep apnea. The most common signs and symptoms are:
- Gasping for air or choking/coughing during sleep.
- Loud snoring followed by silent pauses.
- Feeling unrefreshed or tired after a night’s sleep.
- Morning headaches.
- Waking up with a sore throat or dry mouth.
- Poor concentration or memory loss.
- Urinating frequently throughout the night.
It is important to recognize that having one or more of these signs and symptoms does not mean you have sleep apnea. If you’re concerned that you or a loved one may have sleep apnea, we invite you to schedule a professional evaluation with Dr. Alter.
WHAT IS THE MAIN TYPE OF SLEEP APNEA?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep disorder. It is characterized by airflow blockages lasting more than 10 seconds. OSA can be caused by excessive tissue in the back of the tongue, throat, or nose. OSA is classified as mild, moderate, or severe depending on how many times per hour these blockages occur. These airway blockages can occur as few as five and as many as 60 times per hour.
Dr. Alter uses a custom dental appliance worn during the night to correct mild and moderate OSA. If your sleep apnea is caused by tongue pressure collapsing your airway passage or by incorrect positioning of the jaw, an oral sleep appliance can correct this problem. In an effort to improve overall wellness, Dr. Alter incorporates neuromuscular principles into his design in order to reduce muscle clenching known to disrupt sleep patterns. This custom appliance is removable, worn only at night, and resembles an athletic mouthguard.
Severe sleep apnea is best treated with a continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) ventilator blowing air into the lungs through a mask strapped around the head. CPAP is sometimes used in combination with an oral sleep appliance. Most people with OSA prefer to wear a mouth appliance if possible.
YOU CAN IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP QUALITY BY:
- Maintaining proper weight and getting regular exercise.
- Eliminating alcohol, tobacco, sedatives, caffeine, & carbohydrates.
- Sleeping on your side with a comfortable pillow.
Early diagnosis and proper treatment can help you avoid serious future medical problems. It is Dr. Alter’s aim to not only improve the oral health of his patients, but to also improve their overall health and wellness, reduce stress, and minimize tension using his knowledge of neuromuscular and holistic principles.
Call our office today at (416) 485-5485 to schedule your sleep consultation and learn how we can help you get the sleep you deserve!