dna appliance

How to Get Enormous Relief from TMJ Disorder with a DNA Appliance

Dr. Shapira Blog, Blogs, Breathing Sleeping Problems, Jaw Problems, Sleep, Sleep Apnea Treatment, Sleep Disorder, TMJ 2 Comments

What is a DNA appliance?  

These appliances are becoming increasingly popular within the dental community. However, a lot of patients wonder what makes this appliance so special.

The Vivos appliance used by Think Better Life and numerous other dental practices can help to treat a plethora of dental conditions – from sleep apnea to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ disorder) and locking jaw.

How does this device work? And how can it help patients who experience painful TMJ symptoms?


The Vivos DNA Appliance: The Go-To Choice for Dentists Treating TMJ Disorder

For years, dentists have been treating TMJ disorder using a combination of traditional braces, a splint/nightguard, and/or jaw surgery.

Nowadays, there’s a more effective and less invasive technique that has been shown to improve TMJ symptoms for many patients. It’s called a DNA appliance. This device looks and feels like the upper and lower retainers that a person would wear after braces to maintain the new positioning of their teeth.

This device is different in that it encourages some gentle movement of certain teeth and of the jaw itself. The appliance can help grow, re-shape, and idealize the position of the bone of the palate. It simulates what happens during the natural jaw development process and helps to stimulate bone growth.

And the result? Improved function of the jaw joint and less TMJ pain.

The RNA/DNA appliance has been used for a while to treat sleep apnea, which has been extremely popular amongst CPAP-wearing patients. Instead of having to deal with a cumbersome, uncomfortable CPAP mask during the night, they get to wear a more comfortable intraoral appliance.

Sleep apnea has often been called a secondary condition of TMJ disorder. Because the jaw bone hasn’t developed properly, the airway is narrower and/or shallower than it should be. Not only does this lead to impaired breathing during sleep, but it can also lead to a lot of pain and sleep disruption.

Thankfully, the DNA device has successfully been used to help patients overcome both sleep apnea and other TMJ issues, including locking jaw.

dna applianceWhat Patients Have to Say: Krista Is Grateful to Have Her Life Back

The best way to determine whether a TMJ appliance really works is through patient feedback. Krista, a patient of Dr. Shapira at Think Better Life, had been using the appliance for about a week when she recorded her testimonial video.

After wearing the device for 16 hours a day, she noticed a huge improvement in her TMJ symptoms.

Historically, she’d experience disrupted sleep and wake up with extensive head, neck, and jaw pain. After a week of wearing her DNA appliance, she feels a sense of normalcy again. She’s been sleeping well at night and wakes up feeling great and pain-free in the mornings.

In addition to wearing the Vivos appliance, Krista has composite fillings on some of her teeth to allow them to super-erupt as the jaw bone shifts.

Krista mentions that she is extremely grateful for the innovative devices offered by Dr. Shapira. Technology is always making improvements and the dental team at Think Better Life is staying up to date with it all to better serve their patients.

Krista is no exception. Due to modern dental innovation, she’s able to have her life back again.

The Latest Dental Technology Empowers Patients and Provides Peace of Mind

A lot of people avoid going to their dentist – even when they’re experiencing discomfort. It isn’t until they’re in excruciating pain or experiencing symptoms like a locking jaw that they’re willing to schedule a dental appointment.

Dental fear is all too real and a common problem. Thankfully, dental product developers and dental teams, like the one at Think Better Life, are doing all they can to make the dental experience more comfortable for their patients. When patients come to their office, they’re treated like family and experience the best quality of care, in addition to the latest products and technology.

The latest dental technology can help to make dental appointments faster, less painful, and even needle-free. Furthermore, the treatments for various conditions – including TMJ disorder – don’t just reduce a patient’s pain. They can help to eliminate it and help to improve overall dental health. And that, in turn, can give patients peace of mind at home and in the dental chair.

Do you suffer from sleepless nights and painful TMJ symptoms like Krista? We urge you to contact us right away to schedule a consultation. The sooner we can diagnose your symptoms, the sooner we can get you out of pain.

Ear Ringing: How to Stop it with Dental and TMJ Treatment Options

Dr. Shapira TMJ 2 Comments

Ear Ringing: How to Stop It with Dental and TMJ Treatment Options

Are you afflicted with an inner ear condition called tinnitus?

If you have constant, or even occasional, ear ringing, wondering how to stop it has probably eluded you. That’s because tinnitus – including ear ringing and headache – is often related to another condition known as TMJ disorder.

How can a condition of the jaw and one of the ears be related?

TMJ Disorder and Ear Ringing Causes – What You Need to Know

To help you understand how tinnitus and TMJ disorder are linked, it’s important to first look at what factors cause each condition. Knowing this will help you see the connection between the two, and how it’s possible for a dentist to help treat ringing ears.  

What Causes TMJ Disorder and Why Is It so Painful?

TMJ disorder, also known as TMD, is a condition in which the jaw joint is either injured, damaged or out of alignment. This can be caused by:

  • Injury
  • Bruxism (grinding the teeth)
  • Poor posture
  • Arthritis
  • Stress (tight muscles can cause pain, especially if they’re out of alignment).

How can you tell if you have this condition? You’ll notice that you have pain in your jaw joint, as well as in muscles of the face, head, and neck that contribute to chewing. Patients with TMD often complain of:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Migraines
  • Facial pain
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Tightness of neck and shoulder muscles.

ear ringing, tinnitus

What Causes the Ear Ringing and Headache of Tinnitus?

If you have tinnitus, you’re no stranger to the annoying ringing, whooshing, or buzzing sounds in your ears. Besides ear ringing, headaches are common amongst tinnitus sufferers.

What are some ear ringing causes? Common reasons for the ear ringing and headache include:

  • Head injuries
  • Prolonged exposure to excessive noise
  • Exposure to cumulative noise
  • Hearing loss due to age
  • Some medications
  • Tumors
  • Excessive ear wax
  • Ear infections
  • Meniere’s disease (a condition of the inner ear that may lead to progressive hearing loss)
  • TMJ disorder.

All of these conditions can lead to injury or deterioration of the nerves or structure of the inner ear.

ear ringing, tinnitus

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic

Ear Ringing: How to Stop It? Put an End to It by Treating Your TMJ Disorder

How is it possible for the jaw joint to be the cause of ear ringing? It’s all due to anatomy.

Often, people with TMJ disorder experience a painful earache. However, the cause isn’t an infection. It’s the misalignment and inflammation of the jaw joint.

You have two jaw joints, one on the right side and one on the left. The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are located right next to your ear in the temporal bone of your skull. There are a number of interconnected nerves between the ear and jaw joints. When one nerve is inflamed, others will be too.

The ears and jaw share muscles as well. Misalignment strains those muscles. Thus, every time you chew your food, clench your jaw, or grind your teeth, you may also experience pain in your head, ears, neck, and shoulders.

Additionally, the main nerve of the TMJ is connected to the parts of the brain that affect hearing. When that nerve is impinged due to misalignment of the jaw, it can lead to hearing issues, one of which is tinnitus.

Another reason that TMJ disorder may cause ear ringing and headaches is that the malleus, a ligament in the middle ear, is affected by jaw misalignment. With the jaw out of place, ligament traction is adversely affected. This can cause pain, dysfunction, and ear ringing.

Patients with TMD often have neck issues as well. Muscle strain in the neck can be a symptom of jaw misalignment. What bearing does this have on ear ringing and how do we stop it? Some of the nerve endings of the neck are connected to the hearing center of the brain.  

You Can Finally Get Relief from Jaw Pain, Ear Ringing, and Headache Symptoms

Dealing with chronic ear ringing and headache can greatly impact your quality of life. Thankfully, you can put an end to the ringing and pain by treating your TMJ disorder.

Once Dr. Ira Shapira determines whether your tinnitus is caused by TMD or not, you’ll receive a treatment plan that may include:

  • Removable orthotics
  • Full mouth reconstruction
  • Jaw surgery
  • Orthodontic treatment
  • Home remedies, like improving your posture, reducing stress, and eating softer foods.

Because of the close relationship between the jaw and inner ear, you’ll notice a huge difference in ear ringing and headaches once you implement the treatment plan recommended by Dr. Ira Shapira. You might even notice an improvement in your hearing over time.

Jaw pain and ear ringing – the secret of how to stop it might finally be revealed once you get Dr. Ira Shapira on board!

Choosing a TMJ Provider

Dr. Shapira Blog, Sleep, TMJ 0 Comments

3 Things to consider when choosing a TMJ provider

things to consider when choosing a TMJ treatment provider, Chicago, Deerfield, Evanston, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Libertyville, Lincolnshire, Mettawa, Morthon Grove, Northbrook, Northfield, Skokie, Vernon Hills, Wilmette, Winnetka, IlMost people associate body pain with the actual sensation area, but disorders in the temporomandibular joint, located directly in front of the ear, can create pain throughout the upper body region. The truth is that much pain around the neck area and below can be related to physiologic system problems extending from the TMJ.

When faced with neck, shoulder or back pain, many people turn to physiotherapists or chiropractors for relief, but, when the cause of the pain stems from the jaw, a dentist may be your best bet to help resolve the problem.

1. Training in physiologic dentistry

The TMJ is where the lower jaw connects to the base of the skull. A regular dentist may understand this relationship, but not necessarily be trained in diagnosing and repairing the problem.

Diagnosis of a TMJ disorder often requires a dentistry physician who has been specifically trained in detecting temoromandibular misalignment.

2. A clinic with the proper diagnostic technology

Standard x-rays are not the only diagnostic methods needed to pinpoint TMJ disorders. An accurate diagnosis is often done through computerized equipment designed specifically for evaluating the multiple components of the temporo-mandibular jaw joint.

Physiologic dentistry diagnosis can also require utilization of computer technology in measuring the impact on the complex muscle arrangement in the lower jaw. Dental specialists operating in a TMJ technical clinic understand that this region of the body can impact extended areas in multiple ways. The use of computer analysis can help the dental specialist track the actual path of associated referred pain in delivering an accurate diagnosis for a more effective treatment regimen.

3. A dentist who will listen to you

Talking rather than listening is not always a good treatment approach with TMJ disorders because each problem is unique is some aspect.

Finding a dentist who will listen to your particular difficulties can provide additional information to your dental history, making a significant difference in developing a treatment plan that is structured exactly to fit your dental needs. Listening to the patient can always help provide additional information to use in determining an effective treatment plan.

Learn more about TMJ

If you would like to learn more about TMJ, please download my free e-book.