Houston Texas TMJ: Can the SomnoMed MAS help someone with TMJ? This is a question from a patient and one that we are asked many times. It is a complex question and really depends on what type of TMJ problem exist. If it is purely nighttime bruxism and only a muscular issue, which means no joint noise, pathology, or degeneration and the joint is in its correct position then the SomaMed may help. On the other hand, if patients have TMJ issues a dental sleep appliance may change their joint position, bite, and cause permanent changes. In general, it has been said TMJ is a contraindication to using a sleep appliance. My personal thoughts and experience feel that both can be treated to benefit the patient. The next question is which to treat first sleep apnea or TMJ? In our office, we generally treat both simutaneously. We are often able to do this with the use of two appliances, one for TMJ in the daytime and then a transitional sleep appliance for nighttime use. There are a number of issues that we address during the use of this form of treatment. It is important to know that patients must be committed to completion of treatment as the new jaw position will often not go back to the old position. However, who would want to go back if they are comfortable, healthy, and sleeping well.
I would also like to point out that the new Somnadent can be designed with the lower appliance not having of the appliance on the tongue side in the front. This is important as it allows us to not to have to move the appliance so far forward to control the sleep apnea. I have been very pleased with this appliance especially with TMJ patients undergoing treatment for concurrent issues. I am not able to address the entire scope of this treatment protocol in this blog, but am happy to discuss if there are any questions. If you have any questions regarding Houston TMJ or Houston Dental Sleep Appliances please feel free to contact our office, Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF 713-668-2289