50 % of sleep apnea patients have TMD. TMD is a term used to describe problems of the temporalmandibular joint (TMJ), the mandible, neck, and muscles of .mastication. Symptoms of TMD are headaches, neck aches, TM joint pain, restricted opening of the jaw, TMJ noises, ringing of the ears, stuffy ears, hearing loss, speech difficulties, and swallowing disorders.
The American Association of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) require a thorough analysis of the patient for TMD. Oral appliances can be designed to improve the health of the TMJ if diagnosed before treatment. For more difficult cases, a smaller day time appliance may be prescribed to stop headaches or recapture a dislocated cartilage. In some cases TMD problems and headaches are caused by bite misalignments. After correcting the TMD problems, we will refer the patient back to their dentist for the necessary follow up treatments.
TMD is diagnosed by a comprehensive exam, medical/dental history review, x-rays, and computerized functional studies (see technology. -JVA, EMG). We have been successfully treating TMD for over thirty years.