Most people suffer from a poor night’s sleep on occasion, but if you snore loudly it can become an all-too-common problem. Not getting an adequate amount of sleep is bad for your health, and loud snoring can wreak havoc with the quality of your sleep and/or the quality of your family’s sleep. Other people who have problems sleeping also experience pain or stiffness in the jaw, morning headaches, or popping/locking of the jaw while they’re awake. These symptoms may indicate a condition called TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder, which is related to the joint that is located right in front of your ear and allows you to open and close your mouth. Fortunately, there are several effective TMJ and snoring treatments available, and Dr. Burnett is pleased to offer these to his patients in and around the Garland, TX, area.
A common cause for loud snoring is that the person’s airway is partially obstructed, which causes them to snore as they try to breathe while they’re sleeping. One of the most effective ways to treat loud snoring is with an oral appliance that is designed to keep the patient’s airway open and clear while sleeping. Dr. Burnett can create a custom-made device that fits comfortably inside the mouth, making it easy and comfortable to wear.
If you are an extremely loud snorer, you may be suffering from sleep apnea, which is a much more serious condition. Sleep apnea patients actually stop breathing for a period of several seconds while asleep. In these instances a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device may be the best remedy.
TMJ Disorder Symptoms and Treatments
TMJ disorder is usually caused from grinding your teeth at night (bruxism), arthritis, or injuries to the head or jaw. If your lack of sleep is accompanied by some or all of the following symptoms, you may have TMJ disorder:
- Popping noises in the jaw when you open and close your mouth and/or difficulty in opening and closing your mouth
- Pain or stiffness in the jaw
- Pain in or around the ear
- Locking of the jaw joints
- Discomfort when yawning or chewing food
- Headaches (particularly in the morning)
Dr. Burnett can help to reduce the pain and discomfort of TMJ disorder. Treatments can include changing some daily habits (gum chewing, for example), relaxation techniques, or medication to help alleviate the pain. If your TMJ issues are caused from bruxism, Dr. Burnett may recommend wearing a specially designed mouth guard at night to stop you from grinding your teeth.