Sleep Apnea and TMJ Treatment

You may wonder what sleep apnea and TMJ have in common or how it relates to dentistry. The answer is that Dr. Brian Cook offers a treatment that provides relief for both problems. 

As a Huntsville, AL dentist, Dr. Cook has in-depth knowledge of the oral cavity and how certain conditions affect your general health. Since TMJ often leads to dental damage because of teeth grinding, it’s also a dental problem. While sleep apnea isn’t an oral health problem, Dr. Cook can treat it using a customized device so you can breathe freely.

How We Treat Sleep Apnea 

SomnoDent is the sleep apnea solution for patients who aren’t able to use CPAP equipment to manage their sleep-disordered breathing. Whether you have moderate snoring or have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, SomnoDent is a noninvasive option that can help as early as the first night.

We use the oral SomnoDent appliance to open the airway in a method similar to what first responders use during rescue breathing. The fitted oral device guides the lower jaw forward, which opens up the tissues at the back of the mouth—preventing them from sealing off the upper airway.

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

If you are already being treated for sleep apnea, we’re happy to work with your sleep physician. However, many patients come to our office unsure of whether or not they have sleep apnea.

In situations such as these, we will refer you to a sleep physician with whom we have worked closely over the past few years. After a sleep study has been conducted, Dr. Cook and your sleep physician will collaborate as to the appropriate method needed to manage your condition.

Many patients in Huntsville, AL have discontinued using their CPAP machine after having a SomnoDent sleep appliance made.

The Impact of Sleep Apnea on Your Teeth

If you’re suffering from sleep apnea, your teeth may be too. Our patients who have difficulty breathing often experience chronic bruxism (grinding) during the night, due to stress and lack of airflow. The result is flat, worn teeth and broken dental restorations (like crowns or fillings).

Are you or a family member suffering from restless sleep or moderate to severe snoring? Please call our Huntsville office at (256) 539-4079 for a sleep apnea consultation with Dr. Cook. You’ll wish that you had done it sooner!

Treatment for TMJ Pain

Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that controls the up and down and side-to-side movement of your jaw. It’s a complex movement that can lead to pain if the TMJ isn't working correctly. When this occurs, we call it TMD or temporomandibular joint disorder.

Teeth grinding or bruxism is often associated with TMD. Everyone grinds or clenches their teeth from time to time. But if you have a teeth-grinding habit, you’re not only wearing down you’re teeth, but you’re also putting stress on your TMJ.

To alleviate the painful symptoms of TMD, Dr. Cook can customize a splint that you wear when you sleep. The device prevents the upper and lower jaw from coming into contact with each other, giving your teeth and your TMJ a break.

If you suffer from clicking, popping, or pain in your jaw, you may have a form TMD. Please call our Huntsville dental office for TMJ relief.