Open your eyes to a better night’s sleep.

Are you a loud snorer? Rather than smother the problem with a pillow, it’s time to #openup about what’s really going on and how you can get to the bottom of it.

Snoring is quite simple – it’s noisy breathing. While you sleep, your throat muscles relax, your tongue falls backward and your throat becomes narrow and droopy. Then when you breathe in, the throat walls begin to vibrate, causing that deep rumbling sound likened to a chainsaw. The narrower it becomes, the louder you snore. However, when the throat walls collapse completely, you actually stop breathing in your sleep. This is a serious medical condition called sleep apnoea - so if you are waking feeling unrested or your partner notices an unusual sleeping breathing pattern, consult your GP.

At Claremont Dental, we can help mild snoring and sleep apnoea with appliances commonly called Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS). The aim is to push your lower jaw forward, thereby opening up your airway and causing less obstruction on your airway. MAS looks like a mouth guard and is worn at night while you sleep. Before you go to bed, you simply put it in your mouth - there is no need to wear it during the day.

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TMJ Dysfunction 

Tempromandibular Disorder (TMD) is a complex, multifaceted condition that affects the TMJ (Tempromandibular Joint); the bony articular surfaces of the skull and mandible, the muscles that facilitate movement of the mandible, the teeth that limit further closure and the nervous system that co-ordinates the complex movement of the mandible. 

Apart from trauma to the joint such as direct force or an indirect blow secondary to an accident, the most common cause of TMD is micro-trauma to the joint. Micro-trauma (commonly called dental bruxism or clenching) is the repeated grinding of your teeth, often at night. Referred to as nocturnal bruxism, the action is involuntary and is centrally mediated by the central nervous system (CNS). Research concludes the most common causes are anxiety, stress, pain (postural) and Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB). People actually grind their teeth so they can maintain an airway.

The disease profile includes, but is not limited to:

  • Teeth sensitivity

  • Limited opening of the jaw, locking of jaw position in open / closed position

  • Jaw pain, jaw joint noises - clicking, popping & grating

  • Headaches, neck & shoulder pain

  • Tinnitus, ear congestion

  • Visual disturbances

  • Peripheral tingling in the upper extremities

  • Restless leg syndrome

  • Poor posture - lower back pain, head posture

  • Generalised fatigue, lethargy

  • Sleep disorders.

Treatment involves a thorough history of the condition, an examination including range of motion, postural evaluation, cranial nerve evaluation, muscle palpation and a detailed assessment of your autonomic nervous system through evaluation of your motor reflexes. Once a diagnosis has been made, we can prescribe a treatment plan that may include a dental orthotic for relief of symptoms.

At Claremont Dental, we provide expert diagnosis of jaw joint problems and appliance therapy. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to keep up to date with the latest news.