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Treatment for TMJ Pain

The temporomandibular joint is a combination of sliding motions with hinge action. There are two joints on either side of the head located slightly above and in front of the ears. The TMJ abbreviation is commonly used to refer to any symptoms and disorders in the region.
Most TMJ-related symptoms are mainly triggered by effects of physical stress on the joint or the structures around the joint. The structures include:
  • Teeth
  • Muscles of the jaw, face and neck
  • The Joint itself and it’s fibrocartilage disk
  • Surrounding blood vessels, nerves and ligaments
Often times, patients need to visit a professional to find out what options they have to help relieve TMJ pain and to prevent them from progressively getting worse. If you’re experiencing TMJ pain or a TMJ disorder, you may have the following symptoms:
  • Difficulty closing or opening the mouth
  • Tenderness of the jaw or jaw pain
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Ear pain or ringing in the ears
  • Mild, aching pain in the face
  • Jaw clicking, popping or grating sounds when opening or closing the mouth.
  • Headaches
  • Teeth grinding or clenching
For professional TMJ treatment in Alpharetta, GA, contact Center for TMJ Therapy. Our team can get you scheduled for an appointment with Dr. Maggan. We are dedicated to providing comforting and comprehensive treatment for our patients. Call 770-521-1978 for more details on getting your appointment scheduled.

center for tmj

TMJ Pain

The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the hinge between the upper and lower jaw. When this hinge isn’t working correctly, the jaw tends to lock up, causing a throbbing pain.The jaw muscles are made out of a complex system of ligaments, muscles, discs, and bones. Individuals who are suffering from TMJ tend to hear a clicking sound in their jaw. Some of the more common symptoms associated with TMJ include earaches and headaches, pain when you open your jaw especially when yawning or eating, jaws that feel like they are stuck in one position, and tenderness in the jaw muscles.

Relief from Pain With TMJ Therapy

If your jaw isn’t damaged, then there are certain noninvasive treatment options that you can employ to manage the pain. Abstaining from chewing gum and eating certain foods that require rigorous chewing can be your first line of defense when it comes to alleviating pain and tenderness. Stretching exercises and stress management, coupled with the application of cold or warm compresses on the jaw can help ease mild forms of TMJ.

For more invasive cases, a TMJ dentist may require you to wear a jaw splint or a mouthguard if tooth grinding is the cause of your jaw pain. Ultrasound treatments, as well as physical therapy, can also be coupled with other treatments as a form of comprehensive treatment. At Center for TMJ Therapy, Dr. Maggan and our team of professionals help get patients TMJ pain under control. We specialize in TMJ and Sleep Apnea for patients in the Atlanta & Alpharetta area.

Alpharetta TMJ & Sleep Therapy

Do you oftentimes experience facial pain or discomfort while chewing? You could be one of the thirty percent of the adult population affected in some way by temporomandibular joint disorder, more commonly known as TMJ. TMJ is actually the second most common orofacial pain after toothaches and is a complex condition that can range from a simple annoyance to a severely debilitating problem. Luckily, patients can seek TMJ treatment at Center for TMJ Therapy in Alpharetta where we have a variety of specialists suited to help treat your TMJ symptoms.

How do you know if you could have TMJ disorder?

  • Crunching down on hard bits of food sometimes causes shooting pains
  • Clicking or popping occurs while extending your jaw
  • There is a change in fit between your upper and lower teeth
  • You feel your jaw lock and it becomes unable to open or close fully for a period of time

Oftentimes TMJ syndrome can be a temporary issue depending on its cause. Facial pain is frequently caused by grinding your teeth which can either be a chronic problem or one due to stress. Stress also causes clenching which could be a source of the jaw pain. In some cases TMJ is the result of trauma in which a disk is dislocated.

While home remedies such as compresses can help relieve some of the pain, if the issue persists it is necessary to consult your local dentist in order to diagnose and treat your symptoms.

Most TMJ treatments are non surgical and and could include:

  • Stabilization or splinting of the jaw
  • Anti-inflammatory medications and/or Muscle relaxants

At Center for TMJ Therapy we strive to make patients comfortable and treat TMJ pain. Call our office today at 770-521-1978 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Maggan.

Alpharetta Center for TMJ & Sleep Therapy

Welcome to our new website! This is where you will find our latest news updates, educational tips, and promotional information for our dental practice in Alpharetta, GA. We are proud to offer a vast array of different dental services to meet the needs of our patients.

People choose us because our dedicated staff is one of a kind in terms of knowledge, skill, and customer service. We strive to make every customer experience a good one by providing them with a comfortable atmosphere and detailed information and advice about their dental health needs & procedures.

Call us at 770.521.1978 to schedule an appointment. In the meantime, please feel free to browse our new website & blog created by eDentalImage. We’ve greatly enjoyed working with them as they’ve allowed us to better serve our patients. Thank you for visiting our website and we hope to see you soon in our office!

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Dental Care in Alpharetta: Center for TMJ & Sleep Therapy

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious disorder when breathing frequently stops and starts during sleep. Someone who suffers from sleep apnea has very shallow breathing during sleep. Their breathing pauses can last between 10 to 20 seconds and can occur all throughout the night. This causes them to spend less time in deep and restorative sleep. Due to a decreased about of airflow, the oxygen level drops in your blood which causes your brain to briefly disturb your sleep to get everything running again. This brain signal causes a middle-of-the-night wake up call with a choking sound or gasps which usually goes unremembered.

If left untreated, those with sleep apnea could potentially find themselves with higher blood pressure, heart disease, a stroke, and many other consequences. In order to treat sleep apnea, Center for TMJ Therapy in Alpharetta, GA provides dental devices and surgery for sleep apnea. Two common dental devices are the mandibular repositioning device and the tongue retaining device which are effective for more mild cases of sleep apnea.

Surgery for sleep apnea exists, but should only be performed if all other options have been exhausted.  Dr. Maggan at Center for TMJ Therapy in Alpharetta, Georgia specializes in sleep apnea and will fit you for a dental device if it is needed.  Contact us today or schedule your appointment online to learn more about sleep apnea and see how we can help.

Alpharetta Sleep Apnea Experts

Between 18 and 20 million people in the US suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Apnea is the obstruction of breathing which occurs when the tissues in the upper airway come too close together during sleep, temporarily blocking the inflow of air. Until very recently, only the most severe cases were able to be detected and diagnosed, and non-surgical treatment was limited to the CPAP, an air pressure device worn as a mask during sleep. This left those with mild to moderate apnea, if diagnosed, with the most inconvenient and expensive option in treatment.

Oral Appliances are an Effective Alternative

While the CPAP is the most familiar treatment, it is not the only treatment available for eliminating or reducing the interrupted breathing caused by sleep apnea. In many patients, oral appliance therapy (OAT) is an effective alternative.  Oral appliance therapy refers to the use of a specially made dental appliance worn to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea. Dentists trained in sleep medicine make the devices, and fit them specifically to each patient. Oral appliance therapy is more appealing and affordable than other therapies, and also well-tolerated by a larger group of sleep apnea patients.

How Do Oral Appliances Work? 

After an initial evaluation by a dentist, technicians create the oral appliance specific to the patient’s mouth and indications. The device helps reposition the lower jaw forward during sleep, creating an open airway and helping prevent the collapse of the tongue and soft tissues of the throat.

What are the Advantages of Oral Appliances?

The oral appliance is easier and more convenient to use than other standard therapies, which leads to increased compliance and greater treatment success. Unlike the CPAP which forces air into the patient’s airway and is not well tolerated by many patients, the oral appliance gently moves the lower mouth forward during sleep letting the patient breathe naturally.

Are Over-the-counter Appliances a Good Option?

Sleep apnea is a serious medical disorder, so proper treatment is important to the patient’s health. Because of this, custom-made oral appliances are always recommended over mail-order or over-the-counter devices for many reasons:

  • Custom devices are much more successful in treatment
  • Dental professionals use health grade materials in creating oral appliances
  • Oral appliance therapy requires short-term and long-term follow-up to assure proper treatment
  • Medical professionals need to monitor the patient’s physical response to the oral appliance

While the oral appliance is an effective treatment for many patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea, it is important that each patient only use devices specifically made for them by a dentist trained in sleep medicine.

Contact us at Center for TMJ Therapy in Alpharetta now to learn more.

TMJ Relief in Alpharetta

Have you ever wondered how your teeth and jawbone are connected to the rest of your body? Located just below your ears are the temporomandibular joints (one on each side), otherwise known as your TMJ. These strong, hinge-like joints are powered by numerous muscles and ligaments that surround and connect to the TMJ, allowing you to chew, yawn, talk and laugh.

Most people rarely think about their TMJ, however, if you are among the millions of Americans who suffer from discomfort in your jaw, you might have a TMJ disorder.

Common Symptoms of TMJ Disorders

While each patient experiences TMJ differently, the most common signs and symptoms include:

  • An audible clicking, grinding or popping sound when opening and closing the mouth
  • A constant, dull ache throughout the side of the face and skull
  • Trouble chewing or biting
  • Swelling and tenderness around the jaw
  • Pain inside and around the ear (earaches)
  • Severe stiffness of the jaw (lockjaw)
  • Headaches

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, TMJ disorders affect between 5% and 12% of American adults; approximately 70% of all patients seeking TMJ solutions are women.

This disorder can be debilitating; patients often withdraw from social activities, suffer from poor sleep and lack proper nutrition due to the pain associated with eating healthy foods. Fortunately, there are now many TMJ solutions available that can either minimize or completely eliminate the symptoms this painful disorder.

What Causes TMJ Disorders?

In most patients, the specific cause of jaw pain and discomfort is unknown, however, the following factors are linked to an increased risk of TMJ disorders:

  • Poor posture, including slouching from long-term computer use
  • Injuries (such as whiplash and concussions) to the neck or head
  • Nocturnal teeth grinding
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Stress, muscle tension and clenching of the teeth
  • Lack of sleep
  • Arthritis in the temporomandibular joint

As with most conditions that cause chronic pain, TMJ disorders can be difficult to diagnose. Here at Center for TMJ & Sleep Therapy in Alpharetta, our dental care team have the skills and experience needed to provide our patients with a thorough evaluation of your TM joints, teeth and skull.

Once the source of the pain is located, we can offer patients a range of highly effective TMJ solutions including repairs to misaligned teeth, dental appliances to prevent nighttime jaw clenching and medications to manage pain and inflammation.

For More Information: To learn more about the latest TMJ solutions and treatment options, contact Center for TMJ Therapy in Alpharetta, GA.

Understanding Snoring & Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Snoring can be a warning sign that normal breathing is not taking place during sleep. While there are many conditions that can lead to snoring, one of the most serious is a disorder called Sleep Apnea
. For an estimated 20 million Americans, the ability to maintain regular breathing during sleep is impossible. As a result, they do not receive adequate oxygen their body needs to rejuvenate from proper, restful sleep.

Snoring is a breathing noise that occurs while someone is sleeping. The actual snoring sound is produced from the vibration of the soft palate and sides of the throat when air rushes against them. The sound of snoring occurs when the airway collapses and the muscles fail to maintain their normal function.

A few of the medical and dental conditions that can lead to snoring are: being overweight, a constricted or retruded jaw, sedatives, allergies, alcohol before bedtime and airway obstruction.

While snoring disrupts the sleep of those close to us, it also interferes with our own sleep and overall health.

Sleep Apnea
Apnea is a Greek word that means “want of breath”. Sleep Apnea occurs when a person stops breathing for at least 10 seconds up to thirty times or more a night therefore apnea is defined as the temporary cessation of breathing during sleep.

Snoring may be indicative of sleep apnea which can put great strain on the cardiovascular system. This is why sleep apnea, left untreated, increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Other complications of sleep apnea include: high blood pressure, morning headaches, sudden short-of-breath awakenings, chocking or gasping, automobile accidents and daytime sleepiness as well as difficulty concentrating, thinking and remembering.

When sleep apnea is suspected, a patient should consult with their physician or a sleep specialist for an assessment. Most likely, the physician will suggest a test called a polysomnogram. This sleep study monitors breathing patterns, sleep stages and cardiac rhythm along with airflow and length of non-breathing episodes. Once diagnosed, the most common treatment for sleep apnea are Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy, dental appliances or Oral Appliance Therapy or Surgery.

CPAP consists of an air compressor and mask which delivers pressurized air through the nose when a person is sleeping. This opens up the airway from the inside. The biggest hurdle for using this method of treatment is compliance. Many patients feel claustrophobic and others find wearing the mask to be offensive.

Surgery is the most invasive method of treatment which may involve nasal surgery, palate implants, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), tongue reduction surgery, genioglossus advancement and maxillo-mandibular advancement.

Oral Appliance Therapy is a conservative approach to treatment of sleep apnea. It is indicated for patients who have been diagnosed with mild or moderate sleep apnea or for those with severe sleep apnea that cannot tolerate CPAP therapy. The custom made dental appliance is made to wear during sleep which gently moves the lower jaw forward causing a positive change in tongue position. Oral Appliance Therapy is non-invasive, reversible and easily accepted by patients. A dentist who is specially trained in Dental Sleep Medicine can provide Oral Appliance Therapy for the treatment of snoring
&/or obstructive sleep apnea.

-Dr. Manoj Maggan