As a Dentist in Portland OR, I often see new patients who suffer from jaw and facial pain due to clenching and grinding from stress or lack of sleep due to snoring or sleep apnea that has gone untreated for months or even years, but it doesn’t have to be that way any longer. If you clench or grind your teeth, suffer from TMJ pain, headaches, snore, or have sleep apnea, there’s an oral appliance that can treat and in some cases eliminate your condition.
An oral appliance called an occlusal guard or niteguard can be used to treat clenching, grinding, and TMJ pain. The appliance is worn on either the upper or lower arch depending on your bite, and is worn at night. It can be worn during the day during times of stress or discomfort as well. The niteguard protects the teeth from excessive wear due to clenching and grinding, and helps relax the ligaments and muscles of the TMJ.
Patients who suffer headaches associated with clenching, grinding, and TMJ pain have the option of using an NTI appliance. The device is worn on the front teeth and can be worn both day and night. This appliance is approved by the FDA for the treatment of tension and migraine headaches. It does not allow the upper and lower teeth to touch, and places the lower jaw into a more relaxed, neutral position that prevents the muscles that contribute to tension and migraine headaches from contracting.
An anti-snoring appliance treats chronic snoring or can be combined with a sleep-positioning device to treat positional obstructive sleep apnea. The appliance is worn completely inside the mouth on both the upper and lower jaw and pulls the lower jaw forward, making more room for the tongue and preventing the airway from becoming restricted and vibrating, resulting in snoring. A complimentary home sleep test is required to confirm chronic snoring and rule more serious medical conditions like obstructive sleep apnea. The anti-snoring appliance can be designed to treat concurrent clenching, grinding, and TMJ pain as well.
An obstructive sleep apnea appliance treats mild to moderate sleep apnea as effectively as a CPAP treatment, and is a great alternative for those who cannot tolerate a CPAP or travel frequently. The appliance is worn completely inside the mouth on both the upper and lower jaw and places the lower jaw into the optimal position that prevents the airway from collapsing and causing the patient to stop breathing. A complimentary home sleep test is required to screen for and or rule out obstructive sleep apnea as well as a prescription from a medical doctor. The obstructive sleep apnea appliance can be designed to treat concurrent clenching, grinding, and TMJ pain as well.
If you clench or grind your teeth, have TMJ pain, snore, or have sleep apnea, please call our NW Portland TenderCare Dental office today at 503-629-8005 for a free consultation.