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February 23, 2023

What do Misaligned Teeth, TMJ, Teeth Grinding, Sleep Apnea, and Snoring Have in Common?

The Common Thread Among Misaligned Teeth, TMJ, Teeth Grinding, Sleep Apnea And Snoring Is Their Treatment.  All These Can Be Treated And Managed By A Dentist Using Removable Dental Appliances.

Misaligned Teeth Are Both An Esthetic And Health Issue. Teeth That Are Straight And Fit Together Properly Are Easier To Keep Clean Leading To Healthier Gums And Less Involved Dental Hygiene Visits.  Straighter Teeth That Fit Together Have Less Pressure On Them Leading To Fewer Chipped And Fractured Teeth That Would Require Dental Treatment Like Onlays, Crowns, Implants, And Veneers. In Addition, Properly Aligned Teeth Lead To Fewer Bite, Gum, Jaw Joint, And Teeth Problems.

Misaligned Teeth Can Often Be Treated Using Clear, Removable Dental Appliances.  Unlike Braces And Wire Appliances, Removable, Clear Appliances Are Virtually Undetectable And Cause Little To No Disruption To Busy Schedules. Removable Dental Appliances, Such As Invisalign, Are Now A Common Way To Straighten Teeth And Correct Bad Bites.  The Array Of Dental Problems And The Percentage Of Orthodontic Issues That Can Be Treated Using Removable Dental Appliances Have Widened Due To Extensive Research And Development In The Field.

TMJ (Or More Accurately, Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, TMJD) Is A Painful Problem That Involves Muscles, Jaw Joints, And The Bite.  A TMJD Bite Splint Is A Hard, Removable, Dental Appliance That Is Commonly Used To Help Diagnose, Treat, And Manage TMJD Problems.  It Is Important To Get A Proper Diagnosis By A Dentist To Know If The Muscles, Joints And/Or Bite Are Involved In Causing Pain.

For Teeth Grinders And Clenchers, Night Guards Are Often The Solution.  When People Are Sleeping, They Do Not Have Control And Are Often Not Aware They Are Clenching And Grinding. The Effects Of Clenching And Grinding Are Excessive Wear Leading To Bite Changes And Fractured Teeth.  Patients Who Have Flat Teeth, Wear Grooves, Chips, Or Cracks May Need To Have These Teeth  Restored With Crowns Or Onlays.  A Hard Night Guard For Protection During Sleep Is Recommended To Protect The Teeth And Restorations.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Is A Very Destructive Medical Condition That Can Lead To Several Serious Medical Problems Such As: Heart Attack, Stroke, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Chronic Fatigue, Metabolic Syndrome, And More.  Sleep Physicians Usually Recommend CPAP Devices For Their OSA Patients But As An Alternative, And Equally Effective For Mild To Moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Dentists Can Make A Dental Appliance To Help Maintain An Open Airway During Sleep.  Neither CPAP Nor A Dental Appliance Will Cure OSA, But These Can Manage The Airway At Night, Help Prevent Worsening Of The Problem, And May Prevent Other Complications.

Snoring Is A Very Common Disturbance For People In The Same Household.  It Can Be Caused By Several Factors. A Common Cause Is Weight Gain.  Many Times, Weight Loss Can Solve The Problem.  If That Does Not Work, There Is A Dental Appliance That Can Be Used To Effectively Manage Snoring.

In All These Conditions, Avoid Online, DIY (Do It Yourself) And Non-Dentist Made And Monitored Appliances.  Moving Teeth, Treating OSA, Managing TMJD Pain, Preventing Snoring And Protection From Grinding, If Done Incorrectly May Cause More Problems. Dental Appliances Need To Be Made, Managed And Adjusted Under The Direction Of A Dentist After Proper Diagnosis By A Dentist Or Physician. Appliances Must Be Made In A Dental Lab And Adjusted By The Dentist For Proper Treatment And Management Of The Condition. Improperly Diagnosed And Treated Conditions Can Make The Problem Worse And Extend The Time And Degree Of Treatment Needed And May Lead To Irreversible Consequences. Ask Your Dentist About A Dental Appliance If You Feel You May Benefit From Any Of These Types Of Treatments.  If Your Dentist Does Not Offer These Services, They Can Refer You To A Dentist Who Is Trained In These Special Areas Of Dental Care.

Dr. Robert A. Gallegos Is A Fellow In The Academy Of General Dentistry, Visiting Faculty Of Spear Education, A Qualified Invisalign Provider, A Member The American Academy Of Dental Sleep Medicine, The American Academy Of Cosmetic Dentistry, And The American And Virginia Dental Associations.  Dr. Gallegos Practices Dentistry In Middleburg, VA.  Www.MiddleburgSmiles.Com

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