ABOUT OUR PRACTICE
What is TMJ?

"TMJ" is a term used to described pain and dysfunction in the jaw and temple region of the head, usually involving the jaw joints (TMJ's) and surrounding jaw and temple muscles.





















"TMJ" SYMPTOMS:

Jaw Region
  • Jaw Muscle Pain or Jaw "Tightness"
  • Jaw Joint Noises (Popping, Clicking, Grinding)
  • Limited or Painful Jaw Opening
  • Pain When Chewing
  • Jaws Locking Closed or Open
  • Jaw "Out of Joint"
  • Sore Teeth
  • Teeth Grinding or Clenching

TMJ Related Headaches
  • Temples and Back of Head Most Common
  • Mild and Nagging to Severe and Incapacitating
  • Often Several Days per Week or More











Other Symptoms
  • Ear Pain
  • Ear Fullness or Pressure
  • Pain Behind the Eyes
  • Neck and Shoulder Pain

TREATMENT OPTIONS:

  • Behavior Modifications (soft diet, clenching reduction, stress reduction)
  • Physical Therapy (muscle streching, moist heat, ice)
  • Occlusal Nightguard (aka splints, mouthpiece, biteplate).  The specially fitted device is custom made by a laboratory for your mouth.  The appliance works by relaxing your jaw and temple muscles and reducing the load on your jaw joints while you sleep.  Dr. Woodruff uses only Shands design and fitting criteria and is the only person fitting and adjusting your appliance.











  • Medications (minority of patients):  Muscle Relaxants, Anti-Inflammatories, Sleep Enhancers.
  • Muscle Injections & Nerve Blocks (minority of patients).

ONLY 3 - 4% OF DR. WOODRUFF'S PATIENTS ARE EVENTUALLY ADVISED TO CONSIDER SURGICAL OPTIONS, USUALLY TO ORAL SURGEONS AT SHANDS HOSPITAL IN GAINESVILLE, FL.


What Causes Snoring & Sleep Apnea?

Snoring is caused by a partially obstructed airway. When you sleep, the soft tissue and muscles in your mouth and throat relax, causing your airway to become smaller. If your airway becomes small enough, your soft palate and uvula begin to vibrate when you inhale and exhale. These vibrations are the cause of the sound of snoring.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA, occurs when the airway becomes sufficiently blocked due to a collapse of the soft tissue in the back of the throat and tongue. When the patient's airway becomes blocked, they are not able to take a breath. Because the brain and heart are deprived of oxygen, blood pressure and heart rate increases can put the OSA patient at risk for heart attack and stroke. The breathing pauses can happen hundreds of time during the night, causing a snowball effect that leads to lack of energy and daytime sleepiness:















TREATMENT OF SNORING/OSA:

OSA historically has been treated via your Primary Care, Pulmonologist or ENT Physician with a C-PAP device:
















If C-PAP wasn't tolerated, surgery of your airway could be completed:













Another option has become availabe to treat  Snoring and OSA, an Oral Appliance:




















Because of the natural synergy between treating TMJ patients and Dental Sleep Medicine,  Dr Woodruff treats Snoring & OSA using oral appliances.

Oral Appliances work by moving the jaw and tongue slightly forward, thereby opening the airway and relieving the anatomical cause of Snoring & OSA.



























The Oral Appliance is now accepted to treat patients with Snoring and OSA:
  • For patients with Mild to Moderate OSA (RDI of 5 to 25) who have either not tolerated C-PAP or simply prefer the Oral Appliance approach.
  • For patients with Severe OSA (RDI over 25) who have not tolerated C-PAP.  C-PAP is the desired first line treatment for patients with Severe OSA.

The success rate with the oral appliance is quite high.  Patients need a prior sleep study and physician referral.  The appliance we use is an FDA approved device called the TAP 3 made by Airway Labs in Dallas, Texas.  The appliance has an adjusting mechanism allowing the optimal positioning of your jaw to treat your Snoring/OSA condition.





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TREATING TMJ DYSFUNCTION
TREATING SNORING & SLEEP APNEA WITH ORAL APPLIANCES
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www.aadsm.org
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