We are a group of local dentists in Rockville Maryland, with experience dealing with TMJ issues for over 20 years combined. When the jaws are too small there is inadequate tongue space among other Night-time breathing Restrictions. During deep sleep the tongue (a powerful muscle) relaxes and falls back into the throat and gets in the way of easy breathing. The bodies defense mechanism is to clench and wake-up the sleeper who is not getting enough oxygen. Most often the result of a night-time clench is to get the tongue out of the throat and bring the sleeper into a lighter sleep. Night time clenching, grinding causes jaw pain, neck and back tension, headaches among other symptoms. This condition is commonly called “TMJ.” TMJ Dentists call it TMD or temporal mandibular joint dysfunction. Often times people do not know they clench their teeth at night time because they are asleep be it deeper or lighter sleep. But the concept of an Upper Airway Restriction is a simple one. Basically if the mouth and airway is too small, it does not allow easy night time breathing.
A Bad imbalanced bite. If the teeth do not fit together in a balanced way, a comfortable resting jaw posture position is impaired. The poor bite will lead to clenching and grinding.
TMJ Pain is mostly caused by Upper Airway Restrictions? What Causes Upper Airway Restriction?
Small Mouth. That is a mouth where there is not much space between the teeth. A mouth where the tongue does not fit in the space between the teeth or in the palate. Here you will usually see crowed teeth, deep and narrow palates and a tied tongue.
Key for TMJ Doctor is to create more room in the Mouth
Open airway and to balance the relationship between the upper a lower jaws. Once there is more room in the mouth, the tongue will have space to fit into the front part of the mouth and the tendency will be less for the tongue to fall back into the throat and airway at night time during sleep. Sleep doctors know the tongue and other soft tissue obstructing the airway at nighttime is what can lead to sleep apnea. Clenching of the teeth is a defense mechanism to arouse an individual. When clenching occurs, the individual will normally arouse to a lighter sleep and the tongue will move forward and out of the throat.
Sleep disturbances is a common finding in people with TMJ
but we believe the ultimate cause of TMJ pain, Sleep disturbances (including Obstructive Apnea), Orthodontic Problems ( tooth crowding, open bites, deep bites, etc ) and many postural problems is a small airway and under developed jaws and mouths. We believe early diagnosis of Tied Tongues, Tied Lips and corrective treatments such as removal of tied lips and tongues and expansive orthopedic appliances are critical.
The DNA Appliance will open the airway by causing Adult Upper and Lower Jaws to grow larger. The Appliance also has a biting area to allow a TMJ Dentist to balance the bite and create a better relationship (more restful one) between the upper and lower jaws. The ability of the DNA Appliance to open the airway and balance the bite makes the DNA the perfect Appliance for the treament of TMJ pain related to night time clenching and airway issues.