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What Causes TMD and Sleep Apnea and How to Treat it Effectively in Lincoln, NE

What Causes TMD and Sleep Apnea and How to Treat it Effectively in Lincoln, NE

If you have ever experienced a sharp, nagging pain in the jaw, where both the jaws meet, chances are you may have a condition known as ‘Temporomandibular Disorder’. The condition, which is not very common in people who have not suffered an injury or mishap, can still be quite persistent, and tends to disturb the normal daily routine for the person who is afflicted with it. A regular visit to our dentist at Adams Dental Center in Lincoln, NE will help you treat, and hopefully prevent, any TMD related issues.

Where​ ​does​ ​TMD​ ​Occur​ ​and​ ​how​ ​your​ ​dentist​ ​can​ ​help?

Temporomandibular disorder occurs in the joint which connects the upper and lower jaw. It also occurs in all the ligaments and some muscles that hold the ligaments. The joint is called the temporomandibular joint or TMJ for short.

List​ ​of​ ​possible​ ​causes​ ​of​ ​the​ ​disorder

The following are some symptoms, which could potentially qualify as TMD:

  • Loosened ligaments, causing the joint to experience difficulty with regular articulation. This maybe due to a genetic condition which causes a person to have naturally loose ligaments, or an injury which has stretched the ligaments over time. In this case, the joint may even dislocate, causing severe pain.
  • Breakage in the bones of either the upper or lower jaw. This breakage may be due to an accident, which resulted in a fracture of the jawbone. This fracture could result in severely damaged bones, which would further the problem.
  • An abscessed tooth could also be the cause of TMD. An Abscessed tooth may loosen the gum area near the joint, causing it to swell up. This swelling may spread to the muscle and the ligaments of the joint, resulting in these parts getting infected as well. This particular condition, in the worst case scenario, can result in lockjaw, which is a very unpleasant and oftentimes dangerous condition. Your dentist can help you treat this condition immediately
  • A natural tendency to clench the teeth and hold the jaws clenched. The jaw muscles, when held in a clenched position, can eventually become tensed to the point of subsequent development of the disorder.
  • Arthritis, particularly the chronic version of the disease, may also be the cause of TMD, especially if the condition in inherited. In this scenario, the disorder may manifest out of the blue, without warning, and would require more medication and treatment, as compared to the other causes of the disorder. The pain in this case may be very severe.
  • Diseases which affect the connective tissue either between the joints, or the muscles that activate the joint, can also cause TMD in some people.
  • There are several other causes for TMD. Consult our local dentist today to schedule a visit and ensure optimal oral health.

Conditions​ ​which​ ​may​ ​otherwise​ ​manifest​ ​as​ ​TMD

There are some conditions which may manifest themselves as TMD, but may not be the disorder of the joint at all. It is not wise to ignore any discomfort or symptoms. Additionally, a dentist should always be consulted, as it does help to know of all the possible symptoms related to TMD. Some of them are as follows:

  • Temporary pain in the jaw muscles due to chewing tough food. Examples of tough food items include, but are not limited to, tough meat, raw fruits and raw vegetables, hard nuts, dry fruits etc.
  • An injury or trauma to the jaw muscles, which would be temporary. The location of the injury needs to be observed to help determine whether the joint has been impacted. Further analysis by a dentist will help you fully understand if you have TMD disorder.
  • A dental condition in the molars or the wisdom teeth, especially the latter, which causes severe discomfort in the area closest to the joint, may also be the culprit of TMJ pain. It is important to note that such a disease may also spread to the joint, just like an abscessed tooth, and so it is vital not to underestimate the symptoms. Get checked by a dentist immediately.

How​ ​to​ ​Treat​ ​TMD​ ​in​ ​an​ ​Effective​ ​and​ ​Easy​ ​Manner

The advised thing to do whenever experiencing pain or discomfort in the TMJ region, is to consult with a
dentist. Come visit us at Adams Dental Center in Lincoln, NE so we may assist and allow you to learn all
there is to know about TMD. However, if you would like to take some precautionary measures, the
following are several things you can do.

Rest​ ​the​ ​joint​ ​as​ ​often​ ​as​ ​possible

If you feel intense discomfort when you move your joints or open and shut your jaws too frequently, then
it is advised you rest your jaw for an extended period of time. The ideal rest position is with the teeth
slightly apart, since joining of the teeth clenches the jaw muscles.

Consume​ ​softer​ ​foods

Giving the jaws a rest is a great way to alleviate some pain caused by TMD, as well as conditions such as
lockjaw. Consume more foods that are soft and easy to chew. In case you are consuming meat, make
sure the pieces are very small, or preferably ground. Additional juices, shakes and smoothies may be the
best part of the diet when afflicted with TMJ disorder.

Maintain​ ​oral​ ​hygiene​ ​and​ ​visit​ ​our​ ​dentists​ ​regularly

Proper oral hygiene can help keep problems such as an abscessed tooth away, which is why it is
important to keep the teeth and gums clean.

What​ ​is​ ​Sleep​ ​Apnea?

This is a serious disorder which if left untreated, repeatedly affects your breathing while you sleep. This
means that your brain, as well as the rest of your body, doesn’t get the required amount of oxygen.
There are three main kinds of sleep apnea:

Obstructive​ ​Sleep​ ​Apnea (OSA)

This is the most common form of sleep apnea and is caused due to airway blockage, typically when the
soft tissues in the back of your throat collapse while you sleep.

Central​ ​Sleep​ ​Apnea

In this form, the airway isn’t blocked but your brain fails in signaling your muscles to breath because of
respiratory control center’s instability.

Complex​ ​Sleep​ ​Apnea

This form is a mixture of OSA and central sleep apnea.

What​ ​is​ ​Sleep​ ​Apnea​ ​and​ ​what​ ​are​ ​its​ ​symptoms?

The following are major sleep apnea symptoms that your dentist can help you treat:

  •  Daytime fatigue or exhaustion, no matter how long you sleep
  • Jolting awake at night because of shortness of breath
  • Long pauses while you breathe during sleep
  • Gasping, snoring, or choking while you sleep
  • Chronic or loud snoring each night

Some other warning signs of this disorder include:

  • Impotence
  • Sore throat or dry mouth when you wake up
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Uncharacteristic depression, irritability, or moodiness
  • Problem in concentrating and forgetfulness
  • Frequent bathroom breaks during the night
  • Nighttime awakenings, sleep

If you think you are suffering from TMD or Sleep Apnea, be sure to visit Adams Dental Center for the
ideal dental treatments and complete dental care.