A Custom-Made Mouthguard Can Alleviate the Symptoms of TMJ Disorder or Sleep Apnea

Dr. Joseph Fusco provides a range of mouthguard options at his Rockville Centre, NY, dental practice. Oral appliances are a conservative and effective way to treat temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, sleep apnea, and their related symptoms. Custom-made just for you, mouthguards can reduce discomfort and improve your long-term health outlook. Dr. Fusco will work very carefully to ensure a comfortable fit for your mouthguard. He will use impressions of your teeth to coordinate with a trusted partner lab during the entire fabrication process. He will also monitor your progress after you receive your appliance. If necessary, he can adjust the device to make it more comfortable and effective.

A custom-made oral appliance
A customized mouthguard can alleviate the symptoms of TMJ disorder and sleep apnea. 

Mouthguards for TMJ Disorder

TMJ disorder is a common condition caused by damage or inflammation in the jaw joints. This damage could be the result of facial trauma or arise because of dental misalignment, teeth grinding, poor posture, and other factors. Whatever the underlying cause, TMJ disorder can produce significant discomfort in your lower face. It can also lead to chronic headaches, ear pain, jaw stiffness, neck tension, and many other symptoms.

A TMJ mouthguard can help realign your lower jaw. By gently realigning your jaw in a forward position, a mouthguard can reduce pressure on your joints. In this way, the device will alleviate pain due to misalignment, and it will also give your tissues time to heal. For more comprehensive results, Dr. Fusco may recommend a mouthguard in conjunction with other restorative treatments. For example, dental crowns can build up worn teeth so that the force of your bite is distributed evenly across your entire dental arch.

Mouthguards for Sleep Apnea

If you struggle with chronic fatigue, you may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This common condition affects patients of all ages. However, it is most likely to impact middle-aged men and overweight individuals. OSA causes your soft tissues, including your soft palate, throat, or tongue, to droop while you are sleeping, blocking air as it flows through your throat. When you are unable to breathe properly, you will wake up multiple times so that normal airflow can resume. Although you may not be aware that you are waking up, your fitful sleep can negatively impact your overall health. You could suffer from daytime sleepiness, low energy, moodiness, irritability, forgetfulness, and many other symptoms. You may also have a higher risk for a heart attack, stroke, and other serious health conditions.

Much like a TMJ mouthguard, a sleep apnea appliance can help reposition your lower jaw. This new position will tighten your soft palate, lifting the tissues clear of your throat. Mouthguards are smaller and more convenient than continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. CPAP machines can be uncomfortable, inconvenient, and disturb others in your household. Mouthguards, on the other hand, can be equally effective, if not more so, since you should find it easy to sleep while wearing your device.

After you begin wearing your mouthguard, your symptoms could improve almost immediately.

What Happens When You Receive a Mouthguard?

If you believe that you are suffering from the symptoms of TMJ disorder or sleep apnea, Dr. Fusco will perform a thorough evaluation. He will examine the position of your jaw and your dental alignment. He may also review x-rays or computerized tomography (CT) scans to look for tissue inflammation. To diagnose OSA, he may refer you to a specialist for a sleep study. Once you receive a definitive diagnosis, he can fit you for a mouthguard. He will send impressions of your teeth and gums to our trusted partner lab. With skill and precision, the lab technicians can create an appliance that is a near-perfect fit for your mouth. The turnaround will typically take just a few weeks.

After you begin wearing your mouthguard, your symptoms could improve almost immediately. If you are not seeing the effects that you desire, Dr. Fusco may be able to recalibrate the device to achieve more dramatic results.

Contact Us for Your Custom Oral Appliance

If you are suffering from the symptoms of sleep apnea or TMJ disorder, call our office at (516) 766-6767 or contact us online today. We can schedule you for a consultation and determine whether a mouthguard is an appropriate treatment option for you.

Joseph P. Fusco, DDS, MAGD

Joseph P. Fusco, DDS, MAGD

Dr. Joseph Fusco and his team of compassionate dental professionals offer the community of Long Island, NY, world-class dental care using the latest technology. Dr. Fusco is a member of several professional organizations, including:
  • The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • The Academy of General Dentistry
  • The Academy of Biomimetic Dentistry
  • The Academy of Microscope Enhanced Dentistry

To schedule an appointment, contact us online or call (516) 766-6767 today.

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