Central Sleep Apnea and Its Symptoms

0433.jpgMany patients are not aware that there is more than one type of sleep apnea. Most suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when the air pathways are partially or completely blocked during sleep. Central sleep apnea is much more complicated. In this case, the patient does not breathe while sleeping not because their airways are blocked, but because their brain does not send the command to the muscles.

Central sleep apnea is marked most obviously by the pausing of breath during sleep. This is usually notices by the sleeping partner of the patient, who might hear the lack of breath or gasping that comes after when the body wakes itself enough to breathe for a moment. Other symptoms include:

• Tiredness during waking hours
• Waking up often during the night
• Going to the bathroom often at night
• Poor memory and/or difficulty concentrating
• Morning headaches
• Unnaturally shifting or unpleasant moods

Fortunately, our Thousand Oaks sleep apnea expert employs several ways to reduce the inconvenient and often debilitating effects of CSA. CPAP, or positive airway pressure machines, are a commonly used device that supplies a constant stream of air into the system while you sleep. Talk to our expert to see if this treatment option could work for you.

Dealing with TMJ Pain

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TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, unfortunately comes with pain and discomfort. When one or both of the jaw joints become inflamed or injured it can stop working properly, making it difficult to chew, speak, and yawn. This obviously can interrupt everyday life and actions and cause serious frustration. Our expert in treatment of TMJ pain in Thousand Oaks has some advice to offer for dealing with this pain.

Your doctor, dentist, or expert may be able to recommend a few exercises to gently stretch the jaw, easing pain over time. They may also suggest that you visit a physical therapist for some guiding stretches, as well. One known cause of TMJ is stress, as it results in many clenching their jaw or grinding their teeth. It would be helpful to eliminate some sources of anxiety in your life, or practice some calming activities, such as meditation. Changing your posture, diet, or pillows you sleep on could also make a difference. Your doctor will likely recommend you give up bad habits that can affect your overall health, such as smoking.

If you believe you are suffering from TMJ, call us today to schedule an exam with our expert in Thousand Oaks.

Relief from TMJ Pain

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TMJ pain can affect ability to speak and chew if left untreated. Perplexingly, the pain can also go away on its own. TMJ disorder is difficult because of this diverse number of outcomes and treatments. Our expert in TMJ pain treatment in Thousand Oaks knows every case is different, and can prescribe a plan for fast and permanent relief.

If your TMJ pain is mild, you may start with applied heat or cold. If your TMJ pain is moderate to severe you may need painkillers or muscle relaxers, either over the counter or prescription-only. As a notorious cause of TMJ disorder is stress or anxiety, you may benefit from a tricyclic antidepressant.

There are also relaxation techniques you can learn, and ergonomic exercises you can do. Sitting properly at your workstation can reduce the strain on your neck and spinal cord, areas where tension settles.

For extreme cases of TMJ, maxillofacial or neuromuscular surgery may be required. However, the Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research considers these invasive procedures to be last resorts only.

Recently, doctors began to use Botox to essentially freeze the inflamed muscles. This is something you should ask your doctor about.

For more about relief from TMJ pain, contact our Thousand Oaks TMJ dentist.

What You Should Know about TMJ Disorder

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If you think you have TMJ Disorder, it is important to know what you are dealing with. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint syndrome. The temporomandibular joint is what enables us to chew, talk, and yawn. It relies on a complex system of movement that if disrupted or inflamed can result in painful symptoms like headaches, toothaches, and lockjaw.

There is not always an identifiable cause for TMJ disorder. Some causes can be injuries to the jaw area, infections, or autoimmune diseases. A gene variant is also of interest to specialists who study the condition. Approximately 35 million people in the United States suffer from TMJ disorder, the majority of which are women. The more severe the symptoms, the more likely the patient is to be female.

TMJ disorder can be minimized in its early stages without seeing a doctor. If you feel the onset of symptoms, get plenty of rest and do what you can to reduce your level of stress, which can cause teeth to grind and the facial muscles to tighten. If you are experiencing clicking sounds in your jaw or having difficulty chewing, you should schedule an appointment with our expert in TMJ treatment in Thousand Oaks.

Dealing with TMJ Pain

Dealing with TMJ PainYour temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is essential in being able to eat, speak, and yawn comfortably. But due to arthritis, teeth grinding, or an injury, this joint can become damaged, and it can result in a lot of pain. TMJ pain can occur in the jaw, neck, or face, and it can occur any time you open or close your mouth. Until you can see a professional, you can take over-the-counter pain medication to reduce your symptoms.

The cause of the TMJ disorder will ultimately determine the best course of treatment for you. Teeth grinding is a common cause of TMJ pain, and many people grind their teeth as a result of stress of anxiety. As a result, it is recommended that these patients practice relaxation techniques or stress reducing exercises in order to calm themselves. They may also be given a mouth guard to wear at night so that their joints are protected from the forces of grinding.

Pain in the jaw is just one of the symptoms of TMJ syndrome. You should also look out for locking of the jaw, changes in the alignment of teeth, and clicking or popping of the jaw joint. These all indicate that something is wrong and that you need treatment.

Are Sleep Apnea and Diabetes Related?

Are Sleep Apnea and Diabetes Related?Sleep apnea is characterized by loud, chronic snoring that is interrupted by pauses in breathing during sleep. These periods of stopped breathing are known as apneas, and they are caused by an obstruction preventing the person from breathing. An apnea may temporarily wake a person up, but this awakening is usually so brief that the person will not even remember it happened in the morning. These pauses in breathing can occur potentially hundreds of times every night. It is very important to see a professional if you realize these apneas are occurring to you.

Sleep apnea causes low levels of oxygen in the blood because the cessation of breathing prevents air from getting to the lungs. These low oxygen levels also affect brain and heart function. Nearly two-thirds of people with sleep apnea are also overweight.

Researchers have found that there may be a possible link between sleep apnea and diabetes because sleep apnea leads to a decrease in growth hormone, which plays a key role in body composition such as body fat, muscle, and abdominal fat. Fortunately, treating sleep apnea may also reduce the severity of the symptoms of diabetes, so talk to your doctor about your treatment options.

TMJ and Teenagers

TMJ and TeenagersIt is not uncommon for teenagers to experience high levels of stress. Papers, tests, projects, graduation, extracurricular activities, and other responsibilities can really leave a toll on someone who is not equipped to handle that much stress. This added stress can affect the way teens eat, sleep, and study. This can lead to temporomandibular joint problems, also known as TMJ. While TMJ can also be a sign of an underlying structural problem within the muscles that control the jaw, for teenagers it is most often caused by their lifestyle. If your teen has mentioned how much the joints in his or her jaw hurt, schedule an appointment to see our TMJ dentist.

The first thing our dentist will tell your child is that he or she is most likely experiencing joint problems due to the stress they are getting from school, work, and home. Usually, this is enough to get them to realize that the stress is causing them to grind their teeth, which can contribute significantly to painful joints. It may also help for your teen to take over-the-counter pain relievers. And if the problems persist, they can perform simple physical therapy exercises on their own.

The stress in your life will most likely pass soon enough, but always feel free to see our expert in TMJ in Thousand Oaks if you have any concerns.