What's new in TMJ and Breathing

4 signs of sleep apnea to watch out for

Has your bed partner been complaining about your snoring again? If your partner continually complains that you sound like a freight train every night, don’t you think it’s time to get checked out? Loud snoring might be a clear sign you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Here are four obvious signs to lookout for to help you better understand this condition.

You Wake Up Thirsty. Do you wake up every morning (or even throughout the night) and think you just walked out of the Sahara Desert your mouth is so dry? A clear sign of sleep apnea is dry mouth and the need to drink more water. Snoring can cause dry mouth and a sore throat, so be on the lookout for this.

A Morning Headache. Poor sleep can lead to morning headaches. Waking up with a headache is never fun, so pay close attention to when these headaches occur. If you suspect your headache is caused by your sleeping condition, it might be time to contact us for further information.

Sore Jaw or Sensitive Teeth. During your sleep, you might be clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth at night. This typically occurs in an effort to force enough air through the airway. Pay attention to your jaw and teeth when you wake up, and even throughout the day.

Frequent Nighttime Bathroom Breaks. Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom? Or maybe even a couple times throughout the night? Interrupted sleep can lead to more frequent urges to use the bathroom. Pay attention to how frequently you are waking up throughout the night.

If you find that you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, please contact Minnesota Craniofacial Center, P.C., for more information on sleep apnea.

Welcome Dr. Cervenka!

We are excited to announce the addition of a new dentist to our growing TMJ and sleep practice! Dr. Mora Cervenka joined us in January 2018. See her bio here.

Special Announcement

We recently announced that Dr. Roy Hakala was designated as a Specialist in Orofacial Pain (OFP). We are excited to report that Dr. Kim Ledermann has also received this honor in recognition of her dedication over the past 10 years to ongoing advanced education and treatment of TMJ disorders, orofacial pain and headaches, and sleep breathing disorders. As with Dr. Hakala, Dr. Ledermann is board certified in both craniofacial pain and dental sleep medicine.

Dr. Hakala and Dr. Ledermann are two of the first practitioners in the country to be granted specialty status in this emerging field, which has not yet been formally designated by the American Dental Association. Congratulations to Dr. Hakala and Dr. Ledermann!



NWHSU Homecoming 2018

We enjoyed talking with other professionals at the Northwestern Health Sciences University Homecoming last weekend!


Special Announcement

We are proud to announce that the Minnesota Board of Dentistry recently designated Dr. Roy Hakala as a Specialist in Orofacial Pain (OFP). Since the American Dental Association has not yet designated OFP as a specialty field, this represents a particular honor presented after consideration of his commitment to advanced education in the field both as a student and as a lecturer, his 43 years of treating orofacial pain including TMJ disorders and sleep breathing disorders, and his establishment of our dedicated Minnesota Craniofacial practice in 1994.

Dr. Hakala is one of the first practitioners in the country to be formally granted specialty status in orofacial pain. Congratulations, Dr. Hakala!

Baby Sophia!

We are excited to announce that Ashley, our wonderful scheduling coordinator, had her baby girl on January 6!

Can Hot and Cold Packs Relieve TMD Pain?

The pain can be unbearable, so what options do you have for relief? You might have tried ibuprofen, or other pain relievers, to no avail—there’s still that constant ache hanging out. The pain of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) can be frustrating at times, but we have another option that might help: hot and cold packs. With the use of hot and cold packs, you can find relief from your TMD pain.

Hot and Cold Packs for Pain Relief

For many people who suffer from TMD, symptoms experienced can be difficult to manage. If you suffer from jaw pain, it is important to understand the risks faced and how you can manage pain using some home remedies. However, sometimes you will need more than just a home remedy, so be prepared. Let’s answer the question, are hot and cold packs effective in providing relief from pain?
Yes! Hot and cold packs do not treat symptoms of TMD, but they do work to help alleviate the aches and pains you might be experiencing.

Start by applying a hot pack (moist heat is best) to the neck, temples, or facial muscles for 10-20 minutes. Next, perform recommended stretches and/or exercises to help in the process to keep the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) from remaining stiff. After stretching is complete, apply ice directly to the joint, which is right in front of your ear. This routine should be repeated a few times each day to help alleviate your pain and stiffness caused by TMD. But remember, this won’t eliminate your symptoms completely, so seek treatment as soon as you can.

Oral Appliances for Long-term Care

A long-term solution for treating your TMD is through oral appliance therapy. Yes, hot packs and ice might help briefly when it comes to aches and pains, but this should not be the only form of treatment you seek. The availability of oral appliance therapy allows Dr. Ledermann and Dr. Hakala to help in the treatment of your TMD symptoms. Oral appliance therapy can successfully manage and treat complex conditions, such as TMD—better than the temporary relief from hot and cold packs.
Contact the Minnesota Craniofacial Center, P.C. for more information on TMD and oral appliance therapy.