Dentistry for a Lifetime of Smiles

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

According to a study by international healthcare group Bupa, 42% of the 2000 people surveyed said that their smile is the first thing they would change about themselves and a little over a third of the surveyed group said they’re embarrassed by their smile. What’s more? Orthodontics Limited reports that teeth are second only to weight when it comes to things people feel insecure about. Fortunately, at Eggert Family Dentistry, there are a plethora of ways you can choose to improve your smile. Let’s take a closer look at 5 popular smile-enhancing options that we offer at our clinic!

Tooth Whitening: Over time, due to poor brushing habits and consumption of acidic and richly-hued foods and beverages, teeth become yellowed and dull. Tooth whitening is a safe and cost-effective procedure that brings back brilliance to your pearly whites. While historically triggering nerve sensitivity, today’s whitening agents contain fluoride and other desensitizing agents which reduce the risk of sensitivity. If properly maintained, the positive effects of tooth whitening can last for a number of years. It’s important to keep in mind that anything that can stain a white shirt can stain your smile. Ensuring thorough brushing after consumption of stain-inducing foods and beverages will extend the life of your tooth whitening procedure.

Bonding: This is an effective way to fill in gaps in your teeth – particularly the unsightly gaps in the front of your mouth – as well as whitening yellowing or darkening teeth. The results from bonding are immediate and stunning. As with teeth whitening, however, it is important to practice good oral habits in order to avoid new staining and discoloration from foods and beverages.

Porcelain Veneers: While the term may conjure up images of fragile dolls and china, porcelain veneers are actually incredibly strong and durable. These veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are applied directly to your natural teeth for the purpose of changing their size, shape or color or to repair fractured teeth or improve the appearance of a crooked smile. This entire procedure can be accomplished in as little as two visits with Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff. Many people choose porcelain veneers simply to feel and look younger with a straighter, whiter smile!

Crowns: Crowns thoroughly cover a tooth in order to give the tooth the protection it needs to function correctly or for the purpose of changing its size, shape or color. We are fortunate to be able to complete crowns in only one visit in our office with our CEREC crown procedure.

Invisalign®: As we’ve highlighted in recent posts, Invisalign® is a fantastic alternative to braces for many teens and adults. With the use of transparent, low-profile aligner trays, teeth can be straightened and improper bites corrected. This procedure is typically more comfortable, less visible and takes less time than teeth straightening and bite correction with traditional metal braces.

If you long for a confident smile and are considering any of these great smile-enhancing options, please contact our office. We would love to consult with you and provide you with a treatment plan that is right for you!

Important Questions to Ask Before Beginning Invisalign®

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

In our previous post we introduced Invisalign® treatment as a great alternative to traditional braces. At Eggert Family Dentistry, we believe that thorough research is imperative to making your best decision. If you are considering Invisalign® there are some important questions you may want to ask prior to pursuing treatment.

Q: How long can I expect Invisalign® treatment to take to achieve my desired results?

A. Treatment can take anywhere from 6-24 months depending on the amount of correction needed. Patients move through a series of custom fit trays, called aligners, that slowly move the teeth and jaw into proper position. For a patient whose teeth are extremely crowded or who have an overbite, underbite or crossbite, they will need more custom aligners to straighten and reposition everything. Typically, aligners are replaced every two weeks and patients move through between 5 and 50 aligners during the course of their Invisalign® treatment.

Q. What are the benefits of Invisalign® as opposed to metal braces?

A. There are quite a few aspects of treatment that make Invisalign® more appealing than metal braces.

  • Because aligner trays can be removed for brushing and flossing teeth, Invisalign® doesn’t lend itself to “braces breath” – the brushing and flossing process is much more thorough and certainly more efficient.
  • Aligners don’t involve wires and brackets so they are far less irritating to the tongue and the inside of the patient’s cheeks. Although you may experience a sore mouth you likely won’t have to deal with sharp, poking pain.

Q. How do I care for my aligners?

A. It’s important to keep aligners clean. This means regularly brushing aligners with your toothbrush and water. Also, storing aligners in distilled water when not in use is important, as dry aligners are prone to bacteria growth.

Q. Will I talk funny when I’m wearing my aligners?

A. You will likely notice yourself lisping at first as you adjust to your new aligners. This is perfectly normal! Fortunately, our brain trains our tongue to speak around this new “obstruction” and within 2-3 days normal speech returns.

Q. Can I eat and drink with my aligners in?

A. Although you could potentially eat with your aligners in place it would be much more difficult and can encourage cavities to form since the food gets stuck underneath the aligners and on the teeth. We recommended removing aligners before eating. They can be easily worn when drinking and should they stain from coffee, tea or other beverages, they are replaced frequently.

If you have additional questions about what you can expect from an Invisalign® treatment, contact Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff to schedule your consultation!

What is Invisalign® and Is It Right for Me?

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

When it comes to straightening teeth and correcting alignment issues, most people picture traditional metal braces. There are, however, other great treatment choices you may want to consider. One of these treatments is Invisalign. Invisalign’s clear, retainer-like teeth aligners are an increasingly popular choice among people looking to achieve a straighter smile. So maybe you’re wondering: What exactly is Invisalign and how do I know if it’s right for me? Let’s look into it together!

What is Invisalign®?


Introduced to the public as a braces alternative in 2000, Invisalign® is a transparent orthodontic device used to correct teeth and bite issues. Unlike some of its counterparts, Invisalign® is made from BPA-free, medical grade polyurethane thermoplastic, making it completely safe for your body. It is a low-profile device created from a digital scan of your mouth and is custom fit to wrap comfortably around your teeth. Invisalign® can successfully correct many common dental challenges including gapped and crowded teeth, overbites, underbites and crossbites. However, it’s not for everyone.

How do I know if Invisalign® is right for me?
At Eggert Family Dentistry, we like to arrange a consultation with each of our patients considering Invisalign® treatment and assess the following components to help determine if it is a suitable choice for their situation:

  • Alignment severity: While Invisalign® can be an effective choice for people with mild to moderate crowding, for severe alignment issues, a more aggressive method of orthodontic intervention – such as traditional metal braces – may be necessary.
  • Age: Many teens and adults don’t want to be a walking billboard for flashy metal braces and love Invisalign® for its discreet ability to straighten teeth and correct alignment. While highly-effective for older teens and adults, Invisalign® isn’t recommended for children or young teens whose teeth are still growing.
  • Compliance: For optimal results, Invisalign® aligners must be worn 22 hours a day. This allows for removal of the aligner during meals, sports and brushing/flossing but it is imperative that it be replaced immediately. It also means that the aligners cannot get lost.

A couple other things you may not know about Invisalign®…

  • If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, Invisalign® is completely safe for you and baby. It is recommended, however, that you wait to obtain necessary dental x-rays before your pregnancy or until your second trimester in order to avoid the slight radiation exposure.
  • Also, as with metal braces, there are a couple attachments we can integrate with your Invisalign® device to accomplish specific goals. One attachment is a button, or a small dot of dental bonding that – in combination with your device – can help rotate a crooked tooth. Elastic bands are another attachment that can be fastened to buttons in order to help correct bite issues.

Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff are more than willing to consult with you about Invisalign® treatment for you or your other family members. Don’t hesitate to call us to arrange that appointment at 651.482.8412.

Randi and Dr. Elizabeth’s Invisalign® Success Story

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

In August of 2016, Dr. Elizabeth and Randi decided to become Invisalign® patients to help them make desired changes to their smile! Their participation also helped our team get a much more in-depth understanding of Invisalign®. Randi had braces as a teenager, however, she lost her retainer and her front teeth started to cross-over each other. She wanted to feel more confident with her smile.

Dr. Elizabeth had braces in middle school and her teeth started shifting as well, especially noticeable at the midline and at her right side lateral incisor. She wanted to test Invisalign® and see if it could address her concerns.

We sent models, photos, and x-rays of their teeth to Invisalign® where they created a 3D simulation of how both Randi and Dr. Elizabeth’s teeth could move with Invisalign® treatment. They were both pleased with the results of the 3D simulation and decided to proceed. Both treatments required about 20 aligner changes and were expected to take 9 months. Each of them committed to visits every 6 weeks to ensure the teeth were moving as expected.

Small composite buttons or attachments were strategically placed temporarily on the front surfaces of some of the teeth to help with movements. These buttons were removed once their Invisalign® treatments were complete and as you can see were hardly visible.

Randi responded well to her aligners and other than having to have one button replaced, she had no complications. Randi says, “I am so happy!” She gets positive compliments from friends and family since going through Invisalign® and loves to show off her smile. She also learned great hygiene habits while wearing the aligners and would tell anyone to go through with Invisalign®. “My confidence has grown so much and I am excited to smile!”

Dr. Elizabeth said there was an adjustment period when she first began because she felt her mouth was drier after talking with patients all day, but otherwise she felt as though Invisalign® fit seamlessly into her life. She thinks it would be a great option for most people. Dr. Elizabeth says, “I am very happy with the movement. Wearing the aligners was easy and the time went fast.” She is very happy with the alignment of her front teeth and feels confident in recommending Invisalign® to her patients! She was especially happy that the treatment actually only took 7 months overall since the movements occurred so quickly!

Wondering if Invisalign® could help improve your smile? Contact us at Eggert Family Dentistry today or call (651) 482-8412 to schedule an appointment.

Eggert Family Dentistry Visits Area Schools For Children’s Dental Health Month!

By Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Eggert Family Dentistry is celebrating Children’s Dental Health month this February! Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff visited Pike Lake Kindergarten Center and presented to 5 classrooms about teeth, cavities, keeping teeth healthy, and healthy food choices. The children were excited to go home with tooth brushes and floss as well as the favorite item – a 2 minute timer!

Our hygienist Joanna also presented to 2 classrooms at the North Oaks Pre-School where the goodie bags were also well received. Our team loves to do these community outreach events, and we always enjoy our time with the kids. We are happy to come to your school too, just call us at 651-482-8412 to arrange it!

Parents can start building healthy oral health habits in children as soon as they’re born! Wiping down a newborns gums twice a day with a soft moistened wash cloth or a bit of damp gauze is very important to the health of their gums. When your little one’s first tooth appears it’s time to get them a toothbrush! Start a soft-bristled brush with a large handle and some water. You can upgrade to fluoride free toothpaste when they turn 1 and as soon as they are able to spit into the sink it’s important to add in a fluoride-based toothpaste to protect their teeth.

          

Good oral care in children is important in preventing cavities, decay, and infection that could compromise their overall health. Kids should brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. It’s a great idea to use a timer in the bathroom to ensure your child is brushing thoroughly and to make it more fun! Flossing removes the plaque from between the teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach so it’s vital that kids get into the habit of flossing once per day.

Finally, bringing your children to us at Eggert Family Dentistry for their regular recare visits is an essential step in maintaining their healthy smile for a lifetime!

 

 

10 Tips for Taking Care of Your Little One’s Teeth

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Good dental health starts when your child is very young and actually even before birth. The development of cavities in primary teeth increases the risk of developing cavities in permanent teeth. Cavities can then lead to infection of the teeth and can result in tooth loss. So what are some ways you can set your child up for a bright dental future and help create healthy habits in the early years?

Let’s take a look at 10 great tips for taking care of your little one’s teeth because it’s never too early to start!

    1. Begin the habit of daily brushing even before the first tooth erupts. For a child age 3 or younger, fluoride-free toothpaste the size of a grain of rice or water is all that’s needed. Once your child is 3 you can increase the amount of toothpaste to a pea-sized amount and switch to a children’s fluoride toothpaste.
    2. As soon as your child’s first tooth appears and before your child’s first birthday it’s time to make their first dental visit. This may seem early but a cavity can start to form as soon as a tooth erupts.
    3. Fluoride is important for protecting enamel and keeping teeth strong. In addition to introducing children’s fluoride toothpaste around age 3 be sure your child is drinking a sufficient amount of fluoridated tap water. The American Dental Association states that drinking water with fluoride can reduce the risk of cavities by 25%! Also, once your child knows how to swish and spit, help them incorporate mouthwash into their daily dental routine.
    4. As soon as your child has two teeth that touch introduce the habit of flossing. Flossing with a plastic flossing tool is likely the easiest way to assist them until they learn how to floss independently.
    5. Don’t share utensils with your child or “clean off” their pacifier by putting it in your mouth. Cavity-causing bacteria called Streptococcus mutans is passed on from parents to children through saliva. Even blowing on food to cool it down can pass this bacteria from parent to child. This bacteria increases your child’s likelihood of developing cavities in their baby and adult teeth.
    6. Baby bottle tooth decay – caused by prolonged exposure of your child’s teeth to sugary beverages –is a very real threat to their dental well being. If you must put your child to bed with a bottle opt for fluoridated tap water over a bottle filled with milk or juice.
    7. Sugar is one of enamel’s biggest enemies. Substitute water with fluoride for juice or other sugary beverage choices. Also, limit your child’s intake of fruit juice to 4oz. a day to minimize exposure to sugar.
    8. A pacifier certainly has its place but try and wean your child off of it before the age of 2. Long-term pacifier use can cause crooked teeth and a misshapen palate. We now know that a narrow or vaulted palate due to thumb sucking or pacifier use will cause airway complications throughout childhood and often into adulthood.
    9. It’s ok to incentivize good dental hygiene! Invest in a toothbrush for your child that flashes or plays music, create a star chart or give your child a sticker each time they brush. Also, many parents find that brushing with their child is motivation enough to ensure compliance.
    10. Head it off at the pass and assist or encourage your child to brush, floss and rinse early in the evening – perhaps right after dinner – to avoid bedtime resistance and meltdown.

If you would like to discuss how to implement good dental habits with your child we would love to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us at Eggert Family Dentistry!

Cavities in Children

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Cavities are miserable and, as adults, most of us take every precaution to avoid them. It’s important to be aware that kids are just as susceptible to their presence and their fury. In fact, cavities affect more kids than asthma and diabetes. Let’s take a look at ways that kids develop cavities, how cavities in kids are treated and best yet, how to help your children prevent them.

COMMON CAVITY CULPRITS
Paul Casamassimo, D.D.S., professor of pediatric dentistry at Ohio State University College observes, “Children now have much more sugar in their diets at an early age” contributing to their increased propensity to develop cavities. Sugar, when introduced to your mouth, causes bacteria in plaque to produce acids that war against tooth enamel. Plaque is sticky and holds these acids against your teeth causing the enamel to break down over time. This is when cavities form.

Another culprit of cavities in kids is their lack of exposure to fluoride. In our society today, kids and adults alike consume less fluoride-induced tap water in favor of bottled water, which often does not contain fluoride. Fluoride helps to strengthen teeth and wards off enamel erosion.

Probably a lesser-known but equally prevalent cause of cavities in kids is a bacteria called mutans streptococcus. When babies are born, their mouths are free from these harmful mutans. This bacteria is often introduced, however, from mom or dad. When babies put their fingers in mom or dad’s mouth, eat off the same spoon or share a toothbrush, they easily transfer it to their baby. This child then grows up with an increased likelihood of developing cavities in his/her baby and adult teeth. In fact, Dr. Burton Edelstein, D.D.S., founder of Children’s Dental Health Project, states that, “80% of all cavities occur in just 25% of kids,” which speaks to the presence of this hereditary bacteria.

HOW CAN I SPOT A CAVITY IN MY CHILD’S MOUTH?
Cavities or dental caries are essentially holes in teeth that can, with time, grow bigger and deeper. If you notice a dark spot on your child’s tooth you can safely assume a cavity is forming.

HOW ARE CAVITIES TREATED?
In most cases, treatment consists of removing the decaying part of the tooth and replacing it with a filling. Fillings come in a variety of materials. Most often we are using the white composite material with children and adults. Cavities in baby teeth are treated just as seriously as cavities in adult teeth since baby teeth hold space for future adult teeth. When baby teeth fall out prematurely or have to be pulled because of excessive decay, the child is at risk for improper spacing or positioning of adult teeth, making him/her a more likely candidate for braces down the road.

WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP PREVENT CAVITIES IN MY CHILD’S MOUTH?
There are numerous precautions you can take as a parent to minimize your child’s risk of cavities.

• Take your child in for regular dental checkups starting at the age of 1. This cannot be emphasized enough and pediatricians still aren’t always reminding parents even though the American Academy of Pediatrics has had this guideline for years.

• As you’re able, wipe your baby’s gums with a damp washcloth after eating. Even breast milk and formula contain acid-inducing sugars. As soon as your baby gets the first tooth begin a daily brushing routine.

• In addition to thorough daily brushing and once your child has two teeth next to each other, introduce flossing. At the age of 2-3, when your children are able to spit, and not swallow their toothpaste, introduce children’s toothpaste with fluoride. Talk to us at Eggert Family Dentistry about protective fluoride varnish or sealants for your child’s teeth. Many insurance companies cover these preventative measures.

• Don’t share utensils or toothbrushes with your children. If you suspect you have decay-causing bacteria in your mouth, which nearly all adults do to some extent, consider an antibiotic mouthwash treatment that can reduce bacteria levels.


If you’re concerned about your child’s smile and want to ensure proper care we would love to help. Please don’t hesitate to contact Eggert Family Dentistry with any questions you may have!

Making Your Child’s Early Visits a Success

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Many children experience varying levels of apprehension when it comes to visiting the dentist. Fortunately, there are a number of things parents can do to minimize anxious thoughts and help prepare their children for successful early visits.


Tip #1 – KEEP IT POSITIVE
Perhaps you had a negative experience at the dentist when you were a child or are ill at ease when it comes to regular recare visits. It’s crucial to set those anxieties aside in order to set your child up for a successful first experience. It is often our first experiences that determine our perspective on all subsequent experiences and this is certainly true when it comes to dentistry.

Tip #2 – PLAN A FIELD TRIP
Maybe your child was young enough at their first visit that they don’t remember much or anything about it. Now, however, your child is a toddler and has a million questions! One thing to consider is scheduling a tour of our office beforehand. It will give your child something concrete to anticipate – your child can meet Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff as well as our team of assistants and hygienists that will be working with your child. This helps so there will be a familiar face at the next visit. It will also give your child an opportunity to role play a bit. They can go for a ride in the dentist’s chair and see a lot of the dental equipment which may help answer questions and calm pre-visit nerves.

Tip #3 – TALK ABOUT IT
Talk with your kids in an age-appropriate way about why it’s important that we take care of our teeth and how the dentists at Eggert Family Dentistry help us do that. It might also be helpful to talk with your child about what will happen at the upcoming visit. If Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff is going to count their teeth, your child might enjoy practicing counting his or her teeth with you in the mirror at home. Keep it fun and positive! Again, role playing is a great way to put a child at ease about something new.

Tip #4 – DIG INTO RESOURCES
There are a multitude of resources available that help prepare a child for a visit to the dentist. Look for books on the subject at your local library. Search for apps, shows and songs that help familiarize your child with the subject. Browse our patient resource page which includes a download on how to have a successful dental visit with your child.

You have an important role in your child’s dental health and can help lay a solid foundation for lifelong dental wellness. We would love to partner with you in making this process a success! Call Eggert Family Dentistry today to schedule an appointment!

Your Top Dental Implant Questions, Answered

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Dental implants are becoming one of the most common dental procedures. At Eggert Family Dentistry we are working with our patients to replace missing teeth with dental implants nearly every week. If you’re missing teeth, implants help restore your smile long-term. Most of our patients have a lot of questions about this procedure. Here are some of the questions we hear most frequently.

1. What are dental implants?
Dental implants are medical-grade titanium posts that are placed in the upper or lower jaw by an oral surgeon or periodontist. Implants provide an anchor for replacement teeth. They are very strong. Once implanted, new bone fuses with the device, holding it in place. This process is called osseointegration. Sometimes, dentists can install replacement teeth immediately after placing dental implants. Other implants require osseointegration to be complete before replacement teeth can be installed. This can take up to several months.

2. Who is a candidate for dental implants?
Patients who are missing one or more teeth are likely good candidates for dental implants. Replacing missing teeth can help improve speech, chewing, and mouth comfort. Most patients also enjoy higher confidence and a radiant, complete smile.

3. Will my body reject a dental implant?
The materials used to construct a dental implant are compatible with the human body. It is rare that a patient’s body rejects a dental implant. In most of these cases, the patient is allergic to titanium (which is very rare) or the patient is severely immunocompromised.

Sometimes, a patient’s body will reject a dental implant due to inadequate oral hygiene and care post-surgery. Replacement teeth require the same care as our natural teeth. Regular brushing, flossing, and recare visits will greatly reduce the chance that your dental implants would fail.

Also, occasionally, a bone graft is needed in order to get enough anchorage into the bone by the dental implant. In rare instances, there can be complications with the graft material.

4. How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants can last decades with the proper care. This includes following good oral hygiene habits such as regular brushing, flossing, and preventative care visits to Eggert Family Dentistry. We’ve had patients whose dental implants have lasted the rest of their lifetimes.

5. Will people notice I have dental implants?
Nope! It’s possible you may not even be able to tell which of your teeth are natural and which are the replacement. We design each replacement tooth to match the shape and color of your surrounding teeth so it fits seamlessly with your smile. The only time you’ll see it is on your annual x-rays.

6. What can I expect during my dental implant surgery?
If you’re getting a single implant, the surgery will likely take 30 to 45 minutes. Placing multiple implants can take more time. Once the surgeon places the implant, either a temporary crown or an implant cover is most often placed as it heals and integrates into the body. Most people only need over-the-counter pain medications after implant surgery, if that.

7. How much do dental implants cost?
Dental implants do require an investment. A single implant can cost between $3,000 and $5,000. But remember, they last for decades and can improve your quality of life immensely. Plus, failing to treat the cause of why your tooth is missing in the first place can be much more expensive over the years than fixing the problem now.

8. Will my dental insurance cover the cost of dental implants?
It depends. Some dental insurance carriers will cover at least some of the cost or some of the components of your dental implants. . If you’re considering dental implants, we’ll help you understand what your insurance may or may not cover.

We’d love the opportunity to talk with you further about dental implants and determine if you’re a good candidate. Contact Eggert Family Dentistry today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff.

TMJ and Its Link to Headaches and Sleep Apnea

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Most everyone suffers from throbbing headaches at some point in their lives. But when headaches are chronic, it’s a cause for concern. Also, most everyone has now heard of sleep apnea, a serious condition in which the body pauses breathing or takes shallow, short breaths while sleeping, but is there a link between the two?

These conditions may seem unrelated, but new research has found a connection between chronic headaches and sleep apnea and TMJ disorder. The TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, connects your upper and lower jaws. When it is properly aligned, it works silently and seamlessly. When it’s not, it causes pain, soreness, and an off-center bite. People with severe TMJ disorder have trouble sleeping and can even experience lockjaw. Now, studies show TMJ disorder can cause more serious health concerns, too.

The Link between TMJ Disorder and Headaches
When the TMJ is not working properly, the muscles that stabilize the joint work overtime to support it. These muscles get fatigued, which leads to pain. If untreated, this pain can radiate from the jaw to the temples, back of the head, and down the neck, causing headaches. Sometimes this pain is subtle—maybe you feel a little foggy or have trouble concentrating. Other times, TMJ disorder can cause throbbing headaches or even migraines that are impossible to ignore.

The Link between TMJ Disorder and Sleep Apnea
Since the temporomandibular joint is so close to the sinuses and airways, TMJ disorder can affect breathing. A misaligned TMJ can cause improper tongue position that blocks the airway during sleep. A recent study of people with TMJ disorder found 75 percent of participants experienced sleep-disordered breathing (SDB).

Diagnosing TMJ Disorder
Most TMJ disorder patients we diagnose complain about soreness along their jawline, feeling a clicking or popping sensation when they open and close their jaws, headaches, and trouble sleeping. To help get you the right treatment, we look for the following symptoms:

  • Clicking and popping in the temporomandibular joint
  • Malalignment of the teeth and bite
  • Pain in your forehead, temples, neck, and back of the head
  • Head posture, especially where the head is in front of the shoulders rather than centered over the shoulders
  • Evidence of grinding teeth or clenching the jaw during the day or while sleeping
  • Snoring during sleep
  • Restless sleep

How to Treat TMJ Disorder and Prevent Headaches and Sleep Apnea
Once we’ve diagnosed you with TMJ disorder, we’ll discuss your options for treating it. Many patients benefit from an oral appliance, also known as a splint. There are different ways we design splints, but typically these devices are custom-made for you. When worn, they keep your bite in a better position and more comfortable alignment. They also protect your teeth from grinding and clenching. Essentially, they give your jaw muscles a break.

Some patients can eliminate headaches and sleep apnea symptoms by wearing an oral appliance. With a properly aligned jaw, the tongue can rest in a more natural position, clearing the airway. But if an appliance alleviates TMJ pain without solving your sleep apnea, we often have to delve in deeper, sometimes working through different trial splints before we know which is the best for you. We also most likely would work with your sleep and general doctor to make sure we are getting your apnea or other sleep disordered breathing under control.

If you’re experiencing jaw pain, headaches, or troubling sleeping, schedule a consultation with Eggert Family Dentistry. We’ll determine if you’re suffering from TMJ disorder or possibly sleep issues and recommend treatment to alleviate it.