COMPLEX FUNCTIONAL SLEEP/TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT (TMJ) THERAPY

For teenagers and adults (aged 12-18 and 18-99)

Why haven’t you found an effective solution to your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problem yet?

Who wouldn’t want a pill that eliminates all problems? How good it would be for a painkiller or muscle relaxant to immediately solve TMJ problems? Or maybe a splint to put on the teeth to relax hurtful muscles and to end tinnitus?

The most common TMJ treatment is a splint. This splint is designed to relax muscles and end clicking. Another solution is orthodontic treatment and occlusal adjustment of the dental cusp.

At the same time, patients often report on trying similar methods, using splints, yet their condition hadn’t improved. It seems logical that the state of the TMJ is related to the support of the mandible jaw and teeth; therefore, the contact of the dentitions is “at fault.” So if we change that, the symptoms will cease. However, this is not the case.

There are many reasons for this failure, namely, because the problem is not the contact of the dentitions. The professional opinion is that the problem is multifactorial, meaning that the symptoms are created by several concomitant causes.

Why don’t traditional TMJ treatments work?

Most TMJ symptoms are related to the fact that the muscles around the TMJ clench and keep the joint under pressure. This creates clicking, limited mouth opening or muscle pain, cramp, headache or neck pain. The symptoms are changeable: intensive pain in the mornings, night bruxism and clenching are typical. The muscles clench, and this tenseness is intensified at night. This cannot be explained by the relation of the dentition. This is why the profession’s attention turned towards muscles and their night activities. Many researches have proved that TMJ problems and their solutions are related to sleep problems.

What is the most effective TMJ treatment?

This is a complex problem that requires complex treatment.

We have to accept that the body is a coherent system. The muscles joining the jawbone are inseparable parts of the body’s muscle system, their innervation and functioning depends on factors like vitamin levels, sleep patterns, lifestyle, and posture. Thus, the solution is a treatment that examines all factors and aims to improve all possible areas. If the result of the examinations justify, treatment will take place at the teeth level. However, improvement of sleep patterns, relaxing and training the muscles and breathing are also part of therapy.

What you need to know about complex TMJ treatment

For genuine success, examinations are essential. We examine sleep quality and neurological balance, carry out bite-analysis and assess breathing and muscles related to swallowing, posture and the ventilation of the respiratory tracts. If necessary, we consult a sleep specialist, and ENT doctor, and we develop a personal treatment plan based on the collected information. Speech therapy, body treatment and respiratory training are as important parts of the treatment as dental splints.

Since the problem is a complex one and the patient can do a lot for the improvement of their condition, apart from direct treatment we put emphasis on the change of lifestyle and offer help to it.

  • The treatment lasts 3 months. 
  • In cases where there is a dental component, a daytime and a night splint are parts of the treatment.
  • We provide a training device which needs to be put in the mouth for the exercises or for the night (if there is no dental splint in the treatment).
  • Neurological stabilization programme is part of the treatment. This includes balancing of the cerebral hemispheres, but breathing is also important.
  • This is complemented by the training of swallowing muscles and postural restoration.
  • In the first month there are weekly check-ups, later there are personal sessions every other week.
  • This treatment requires commitment as home practice is essential for reprogramming swallowing and breathing.

Sleep dentistry and sleep therapy

Dentistry and its supplementary muscle and breathing training can be very effective independent or complementary trainings for treating different sleep disorders. There are many other devices with which we can make the treatment of sleep disorders more effective. Sleep dentistry appliances are designed to support the jawbone and prevent it from falling back, closing the respiratory tract. At the same time, we can significantly enhance the treatment by multiple ways of support.

The treatment includes the following elements:

– dental appliance for sleep improvement

– speech therapy muscle training

– breathing training

– neurological grounding

– stress management

– reform of sleep rhythm and patterns

Possibilities for sleep and TMJ treatments

It is important that everybody should find the optimal treatment package. During the consultation we offer detailed description on the following issues:

  • Private personal consultation at the offices
  • Private consultation online
  • Group consultation at the offices

Online sleep and TMJ treatments

The distance from the Clinic, the lifestyle of the patient or even a pandemic can lead to comfort functions such as online treatment. Although not every medical or dental procedure makes online treatment possible, luckily, there are several options with sleep and TMJ treatments. As we know, sleep disorders and TMJ problems can have many causes, and several of the factors that can be addressed from a distance, thus online treatments can work very well. The first step is a personal consultation, because successful treatment requires detailed examination, so a visit to the diagnostic lab is inevitable. Later, however, there are the following options in the treatment:

  • We send exercise and therapeutic equipment by post
  • We hand out exercise videos
  • We organise online personal trainings
  • We offer support for the necessary changes in the lifestyle
  • We make distant measurements on sleep change

The duration and structure of the treatment is similar to personal training, in this case, following the recommendations on the exercises and lifestyle reform are crucially important.

What to do to undergo functional treatment

  1. Choose one of our consultation packages and come to the consultation. As part of the diagnostic package, you will receive questionnaires, then you will be invited for an assessment where X-ray images and complex photographic documentation are made together with digital dental imaging.
  2. During the private or group consultation, Dr Gábor Hermann explains the exact details and possibilities of the treatment and answers all your questions. This will give you a basis to make up your mind about the treatment.
  3. The treatment starts at the next appointment.