Sleep Apnea, Snoring & TMJ
Dr. David C. Medford
Teeth clenching, grinding, jaw popping and tension headaches can all be a sign of TMJ. Left untreated, you can cause destruction of your teeth, guns and jaw joint. Dr. Medford offers two approaches for patients to relieve the consequences of TMJ:
- Night guards: worn at night, they can reduce teeth clenching and grinding.
- Tap III oral appliance: worn at night and is self adjustable. Many patients find this a great alternative to the CPAP machines.
SNORING & SLEEP APNEA
Determination of the Best Treatment
Dr. Medford will work with your physician in your diagnosis, treatment, and on-going care. Determination of proper therapy can only be made by joint consultation of your dentist and physician and must combine objective evaluation of severity and patient preference. Initiation of oral appliance therapy can take from several weeks to several months to complete. Dr. Medford will continue to monitor your treatment and evaluate the response of your teeth and jaws throughout the whole process.
A Unique Approach
Snoring and sleep apnea are conditions inflicted during sleep. During the night, the normal tongue and jaw positions allow air to pass through the throat effortlessly. The tongue is forward, the jaw is closed and the airway is open.
When a person suffers from sleep apnea, his/her airway is blocked periodically through the night depending on the severity of the sleep apnea. The mouth is open, the tongue and soft tissue relaxes and collapses into the throat. This causes the person to snore and possibly have sleep apnea episodes.
Dr. Medford uses Oral Appliance Therapy as a solution to sleep apnea and snoring.
Oral appliances are worn in the mouth to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). These devices are similar to orthodontic retainers or sports mouth guards. Oral Appliance Therapy involves the selection, design, fitting and use of a custom-designed oral appliance that is worn during sleep. With an oral appliance, throat structures move out of your air passage, allowing air to flow freely through your throat. Oral appliances may be used alone or in combination with other means of treating OSA. These means include general health, weight management, surgery, or CPAP.
Oral appliances work in several ways:
- Repositioning the lower jaw, tongue, soft palate and uvula
- Stabilizing the lower jaw and tongue
- Increasing the muscle tone of the tongue
TAP III Oral Appliance
Dr. Medford uses the TAP III oral appliance as a solution to sleep apnea and snoring. The TAP® is based on the same principle as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The airway must be open to allow air to pass through the throat. A constricted or collapsed airway causes snoring or sleep apnea.
The TAP® holds the lower jaw in a forward position so that it does not fall open during the night and causes the airway to collapse. The TAP® maintains a clear airway to reduce snoring and improve breathing
Tap III is covered by most medical insurance. You will need a letter of referral from your physician as well as a sleep study report in order for your medical insurance to be filed.