San Francisco Center for TMJ and Sleep Apnea

Patient Case Study: Dana*

Patient is a 29 year old female patient presented with Chief Complaints of Pain with chewing, jaw joint locking, neck and back pain, and years of ears ringing . She also reported depression and anxiety and waking up with back of skull headaches around the sides of head to the temple areas. She was taking strong medications to mask these symptoms. Pain and soreness occurred when she took her old nightguard out after 5-10 minutes. She was constantly cracking her neck and hard foods difficult to chew. She was fatigued when she woke up in AM, had difficulty with nasal breathing at night, difficulty falling asleep, and previously had jaws lock up several times. She was insecure about eating and talking, did not like how her smile looks due to her bite and jaw position, and preferred to smile with tongue between her teeth. TMJ imaging showed forward head posture, neck misalignment, a very narrow airway, blocked sinus and a jaw position out of balance, compressing her ear canals, and contributing to headaches.
With TMJ appliance therapy, cold laser, addressing sinus problems non-surgically, posture correction and nutritional counseling, jaw pain and headaches from multiple sources were identified and nearly 100 % eliminated. Dana’s fatigue and sleep patterns improved and her jaw locking and clicking does not occur any longer. She was able to get off her medications and now comfortably sleeps with a nighttime appliance and takes good care of her sinuses, posture and nutrition. Dana reports a 95 % improvement.

*names/images have been changed for HIPAA patient protection.