Pain Relief and Better Sleep from Your Astoria Dentist
You may be surprised to learn that headaches, fatigue, and some chronic illnesses can be prevented with the help of your dentist. If you suffer from TMJ disorder, bruxism, or sleep apnea, Dr. Leibowitz offers treatments that can help improve your overall health by simply placing your lower jaw in the correct position.
Your temporomandibular joints (TMJs) are the joints that attach your lower jaw to your skull. Responsible for every movement your mouth makes, the TMJs can sometimes become misaligned which places stress on the surrounding nerves and muscles, causing pain in the jaws, face, head, and neck. This misalignment or imbalance can be caused by many factors, including injury, bruxism (teeth grinding, arthritis, stress, and even bad posture. To help alleviate the painful symptoms of TMJ disorder, your Astoria dentist can fit you with a custom splint that places your jaw in the right position. This treatment, combined with lifestyle changes to reduce stress, can help retrain your jaw to assume the optimal position to reduce or even eliminate your painful symptoms.
Bruxism, which is the act of clenching or grinding your teeth, can be both a cause and a result of TMJ disorder. This condition is often caused by stress, although certain medications, caffeine, alcohol, missing teeth, or a bad bite can contribute to chronic teeth grinding. In cases of misaligned teeth, Dr. Leibowitz will refer you to an orthodontist to correct the issue. If you have missing teeth, your Astoria dentist can replace them with bridges, dentures, or dental implant restorations. If your teeth are worn down or broken by grinding, he can build up your tooth structure and restore a proper bite by placing crowns or veneers on your damaged teeth. Eliminating stress, and substances known to cause bruxism can also help alleviate symptoms. Additionally, Dr. Leibowitz can fit you with a nighttime mouthguard to help reduce the forces of bruxism on your teeth, thus preventing further damage to your tooth structure.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which the patient experiences frequent, prolonged pauses in breathing during the night. When breathing stops, the patient wakes up just enough to start breathing again, but not usually becoming fully conscious. These frequent interruptions prevent the full range of normal sleep cycles including the deep sleep states needed for optimal functioning the next day. Lack of proper sleep can lead to falling asleep during the day, posing a great risk to those who operate machinery or drive a car. Additionally, sleep apnea repeatedly deprives the body of needed oxygen, often for a minute or more each episode, which can cause serious health problems such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. The most common cause of sleep apnea is collapsing throat tissues when you sleep. Dr. Leibowitz can help prevent this occurrence by fitting you with an oral appliance. This custom-fitted device helps pulls the lower jaw forward and into a position that prevents the soft tissues of your throat from collapsing during sleep, ensuring an open airway, proper breathing, and uninterrupted rest.