When treating most types of oral health concerns, one of the most important aspects of designing your treatment is keeping the extent of it as minimal as possible. For many conditions, this often means utilizing advanced technology and materials to create comfortable, minimally invasive treatment plans. Some of these plans can include the use of a custom-designed oral appliance, which can be crafted to accomplish a wide variety of highly specific treatment goals. Today, we examine a few conditions that you may be able to address with a custom-made oral appliance.
Subconscious teeth-grinding, or bruxism
Chronic bruxism describes a subconscious habit of grinding your teeth forcefully. When you have bruxism, this grinding occurs without you realizing it, and for many patients, it’s mainly a nighttime problem that occurs while they sleep. The problem is that when it occurs, whether it’s during the day or at night, the grinding associated with bruxism can place your teeth under an immense amount of pressure and friction. This can lead to the chewing surfaces of your teeth wearing down extensively, causing a number of subsequent problems with your teeth and oral health. For many people who have bruxism, a custom-designed oral appliance can help protect their teeth at night and alleviate the pressure that could lead to tooth damage.
A TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder
Whether it’s from the excessive pressure of teeth-grinding or from another underlying cause, TMJ disorder is another bite problem that many people might experience without realizing it at first. TMJ disorder describes a dysfunction in your TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, on either side of your jaw. These joints are largely responsible for your jaw’s movement, and when they’re distressed, the resulting pain and dysfunction can become intense. Because the problem often originates with uneven and/or excessive pressure on the joints, many people can find relief from their TMJ disorder by wearing a custom-designed appliance that helps alleviate that pressure.
An obstructive sleep apnea problem
While many oral appliances are designed to protect teeth from grinding against each other or to alleviate pressure on your jaw joints, some can also be designed to help you enjoy better, more restful sleep each night. For instance, patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, experience a repeated obstruction in their airway while they sleep, which is caused by mouth and/or throat tissues becoming overrelaxed or being oversized. A sleep apnea appliance is designed to support the lower jaw in a way that prevents this obstruction, allowing patients to sleep soundly, peacefully, and uninterrupted each night.
Learn if an oral appliance can help you
With a highly advanced, custom-designed oral appliance, we can help most patients address a variety of different concerns in a more comfortable and minimally invasive manner. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, call our dental office in Los Angeles, CA, today at (310) 446-GUMS (4867). We also proudly serve patients living in Santa Monica, Culver City, Beverly Hills, Century City, Encino, and all surrounding communities.