If it isn’t bothering your patients yet, why fix it now? That is a good question to ask, but if we don’t enjoy educating and explaining things to our patients, then we are missing out on numerous opportunities to make our patients healthier and happier—do you want to miss out on that? I didn’t think so.

There is any number of relatively common signs that might be hidden from our patients, but can potentially become big problems if ignored. An easy example is a person’s wisdom teeth. Many teenagers will have their wisdom teeth removed, but not because they are causing problems now. Instead, wisdom teeth are removed before problems can develop, which helps protect their teeth and mouths in the long run before treatment becomes too expensive.

Complications with TMD

For instance, when we think of TMJ problems, we often think of headaches, facial pain, sensitive teeth, sinus problems and more. However, there is a large group of people that have TMJ problems without any of those signs or symptoms. It is possible for these patients to slowly grind their teeth down, slowly destroy their jaw joints, and cause the bones in their neck to be out of place and build-up scar tissue. It is also possible to develop migraines and ringing in the ears, which can become progressively harder to treat the longer they persist.

Sleep Apnea Disruptions

Additionally, we can also learn more about our patients’ energy levels and quality of sleep. Whether it is a lack of sleep caused by their bed partners snoring or if the patient personally suffers from sleep apnea, it is important to get the right amount of REM sleep. A lack of proper sleep can cause heart attacks, strokes, ADHD, auto accidents, and even weight gain. To help prevent these complications, as you know, oral appliances are available to comfortably keep your patients’ airway open at night to allow for a good night’s sleep.

Because most people share the common view that the dentist’s primary job is to take care of tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath, it is our duty to educate our patients on further services we offer. By educating your patients on TMD and Sleep Apnea, we can continue to provide proper care outside of the common assumption all we do is clean teeth and treat tooth decay.

For more information on TMD and Sleep Apnea services and how we can further reach our patients, please contact me.