Sleep is essential for our health and general wellbeing. Snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) restrict normal breathing and disrupt our normal sleep cycles.
What does this have to do with physiotherapy & osteopathy? The relationship between snoring, OSA and temporomandibular disorder (TMD) or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is complex.
Weakening of the muscles and displacement of the temporomandibular (jaw) joint can lead to obstruction of the airways, causing snoring and OSA. In turn, OSA can lead to increased pain and a worsening of TMD.
Due to this interconnected cycle, and because OSA treatments can worsen TMD pain, TMJ Physio or TMJ Osteo is often an essential element of an effective treatment plan.
When considering TMD or sleep apnoea treatment, Glen Iris, Caulfield North, Prahran and Toorak locals can turn to the team at More Than Physio for drug-free relief and lasting results. Because we are focussed on treating the cause, and not just the symptoms, we take a comprehensive view of the connected cycle of TMJ, snoring, and OSA.
When they approach OSA or snoring treatment, Toorak, Glen Iris, Caulfield North and Prahran residents usually turn to their dentist first. Patients may not even be aware of the link between teeth grinding (bruxism) or joint pain and poor sleep or snoring until abnormalities in the teeth or jaw are noted by a dentist.
When a dentist prescribes a dental splint as an obstructive sleep apnoea treatment, Prahran patients may find themselves with relief from OSA as the splint pulls their jaw forward, opening up their airways for clearer, unobstructed breathing.
The relief patients find may be short-lived, however. If a poorly fitted splint or over-correction places strain on the TMJ it can result in jaw pain, blocked ears, or headaches. This is why treating TMJ and OSA disorders holistically is such an important step.
The highly trained team of physiotherapists, osteopaths and dentists at More Than Physio’s, Melbourne TMJ & Facial Pain Centre™ work closely with GPs, prosthodontists, endodontists, periodontists, ENTs, neurologists and oral & maxillofacial surgeons to ensure our patients receive the very best outcomes and care.
When specialists refer a patient to us, we take a team approach to consider the best mode of treatment. We also ensure that patients are empowered with self-help therapies and knowledge to receive the very best outcomes from their treatment.
Though snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea are not one and the same, these two issues are very closely connected. Snoring may result from a temporary obstruction of the airways, however, if snoring is chronic and continues without treatment it may, in time, become OSA.
The oral musculature that supports the lower jaw and prevents the tongue from collapsing are susceptible to the same weakening as other muscle groups, and when snoring becomes an ongoing issue the weakened muscles obstruct the airways.
As the body struggles to cope with inefficient airflow during sleep, the jaw is often thrust forward to compensate. This can lead to teeth grinding (bruxism) and temporomandibular disorder, resulting in new symptoms of orofacial pain.
The correct treatment of snoring and sleep apnoea may involve a combination therapies including a mandibular advancement splint (MAS), weight loss and improvements in sleeping position or use of a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) breathing machine.
Our team of sleep medicine dentists will work with your referring health team to find the treatment program that is right for you.
Considering snoring or sleep apnoea treatment? Glen Iris, Caulfield North, Toorak and Prahran locals can call us on 9824-8868 to book a consultation today.