Functional Dental Appliances
The TMJ (jaw joint) and bite can have a profound effect on the entire body. A few classic symptoms are:
• Jaw clicking / popping / locking
• Ear symptoms such as ringing
• Sensitive teeth and a change in bite
Less related symptoms include:
• Disturbed vision
• Altered hearing and balance
• Weight gain
• Musculo-skeletal pain and dysfunction
• Facial symmetry and beauty
• Sleep disturbance (apnea)
Sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep. The upper airway is a floppy tube supported by muscles, and it runs from the mouth to the lungs. Orofacial myology is beneficial to strengthen these muscles and serves as a great adjunct to the dental appliance, although in some, when you lay down to sleep and your muscles relax, gravity can narrow the airway too much. When the person breathes in, the air struggles to get through the narrowed passage.
When the airway is blocked you are being momentarily being suffocated, resulting in a sudden drop in oxygen levels. This causes a stress response in the body, which protects itself by making the heart work harder to move the remaining oxygenated blood through the body.
As a result this stress can cause:
• High blood pressure
• Impotence / low sex drive
• Weight gain
• Heart disease
• Tiredness and a lack of energy
By wearing a functional dental appliance, the TMJ (jaw) can be guided back to it’s natural balance. Most often the appliance used is very discreet and doesn’t interfere with your normal daily routine.
Peter van der Sande Lacoste - Monday to Saturday