Airway Issues

Not having a good night sleep? See Dr. Benjamin Polan in Beverly, MA

Not having a good night sleep?

Breathing problems such as allergies or an underdeveloped jaw can cause TMJ (Temporomandibular joint dysfunction). TMJ is a prominent cause of snoring and sleep apnea. As we all learned in the famous song of our early years, the jawbone is connected to every other bone in the body. This is why TMJ is so important, because an improperly aligned jaw can cause misalignments throughout the entire rest of your person.

TMJ and jaw position

The tongue is directly connected to the jaw bone and serves to support the dental arch. A misaligned bite will affect the resting position of the tongue during sleep, which in turn and will negatively affect breathing.

Problems often begin very early in childhood, for instance, when a child that suffers from allergies is unable to breathe very well through their nose, they default to mouth breathing. Now the child is no longer achieving the dental arch support. The subtle difference is enough to alter how a child’s upper jaw develops making TMJ related airway issues.

Some causes of TMJ are an unbalanced bite, skull deformation during birth, injury or trauma, missing teeth, genetics or even unbalanced dentistry. A common indicator of TMJ is sleep apnea, which can lead to many more health issues if left untreated. A TMJ dentist such as Dr. Benjamin Polan in Beverly, MA is skilled in understanding the myriad symptoms pointing to TMJ airway issues, and so can inform you on effective treatments for sleep apnea.

Snoring: More than just an annoyance

Snoring has become so commonly accepted that it gets reduced to being something to poke fun at. Many of us briefly experience snoring when we have a cold, but when it becomes chronic, further health problems can arise. This is actually one of the airway issues TMJ can cause by constricting the upper airway.

When we sleep, the body naturally goes into a deep breathing mode. Obstructive sleep apnea results in the vibration of the soft tissues, which causes them to become inflamed and swell. The danger with sleep apnea is how air is prevented from reaching the lungs for at least 10 seconds. When left untreated, it can also lead to cardiovascular disease, acid reflux, depression and more.

Dr. Benjamin Polan in Beverly, MA is an accredited dentist who has studied extensively in the field of dental sleep medicine and remains at the forefront of knowledge in this area of treatment.

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