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By Center for Headache, TMJ, and Sleep Disorders
December 11, 2017
Category: Conditions
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

If you have ever shared the bed with someone who snores or are a snorer yourself, you probably know how irritating and frustrating this sleep apneasleep habit can be. However, in some cases, snoring can be a sign of more than just a nighttime annoyance. Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can turn deadly if left untreated and its most common symptom is snoring. However, understanding the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea can help you find and treat this condition and get the best night’s sleep possible. Find out more about sleep apnea with Dr. Steven Wilk at Center for Headache, TMJ, and Sleep Disorders in Denver, CO.

What is sleep apnea? 
Sleep apnea is a condition affecting sleep which causes pauses in breathing. These pauses, known as apneas, can cause the sufferer to snore loudly or wake up gasping to catch their breath. If left untreated, this condition could have severe consequences and even result in death. Most cases of sleep apnea are caused by an obstruction in the airway, referred to as obtrusive sleep apnea or OSA. Central sleep apnea or CSA occurs when the brain fails to send the correct breathing signals to the lungs, resulting in apneas. OSA is far more common than CSA. Complex sleep apnea is a combination of OSA and CSA.

Do I have sleep apnea? 
While the most common symptom of sleep apnea is excessive snoring, there are other tell-tale signs of this condition. Since most of the symptoms occur at night, many sleep apnea sufferers are not aware they have this condition and their bed partners are often the first to notice that something is wrong. Some of the most obvious symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • excessive snoring
  • waking suddenly, often gasping for breath
  • long pauses in breathing
  • daytime sleepiness
  • insomnia
  • feeling exhausted upon waking
  • morning headaches

Sleep Apnea Treatments in Denver, CO 
A common treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, machine. The machine’s mask covers the nose and mouth and sends a steady stream of air through the airway to keep it open and prevent it from collapsing. However, some people aren't able to tolerate CPAP treatment. Conservative treatments for sleep apnea include simple lifestyle changes like losing weight or changing sleeping positions. However, if these changes fail to produce results, you may need a dental appliance to reposition the jaw and help prevent obstructions of the airway. For mild to moderate sleep apnea, oral appliances can be as effective as CPAP

For more information on sleep apnea, please contact Dr. Wilk at Center for Headache, TMJ, and Sleep Disorders in Denver, CO. Call (303) 758-4865 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Wilk today!

By Center for Headache, TMJ, and Sleep Disorders
October 10, 2017
Category: Conditions
Tags: Headaches  

Are you suffering from severe headaches but don't know what the cause may be? Your Denver, CO, TMJ dentist, Dr. Steven Wilk, can help headacheyou.

In an article written by WHO (World Health Organization) in 2016, it was reported that approximately 50 percent of adults suffered from headache disorder. Now, while pain can affect a number of places in your body, headaches can turn into migraines and are a result of various things.

Here are a few things your dentist in Denver wants you to know can cause severe headaches:

  • Unchecked teeth that have developed cavities. The cavities erode the enamel and eat through the teeth infecting and causing the inflammation of the tooth pulp. In that case, you may need a root canal, but tooth loss and the need for dental implants may arise if you continue neglecting your teeth.
  • Gum disease, such as gingivitis, is when plaque builds up and bacteria flourish around your teeth and in your gums. Your gums may become red, sore and inflamed. If they're not taken care of, your gums may begin to recede and you periodontitis forms, which means you may lose your tooth or teeth if you don't visit your dentist.
  • Damage to your temporomandibular joint, also known as TMJ, can cause difficulty chewing and your joints to lock.
  • Bruxism, grinding your teeth, can damage your teeth, but it can also be painful and lead to headaches.
  • If you have an improper bite, that can cause pain while your chew and bite.
  • Other issues causing pain may include neck aches and poor sleep quality due to a sleep disorder.

If you're experiencing headaches and need a doctor, visit Dr. Wilk in his Denver, CO, office. You can call to make an appointment or ask him about any questions or concerns you have at this number: (303) 758-4865.

By Center for Headache, TMJ, and Sleep Disorders
August 14, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: jaw pain   TMJ  

Your jaw feels sore, and it makes odd popping noises when you open and close your mouth. Lately, your ears have started ringing, and tmjyou occasionally feel a bit dizzy. Then, headaches happen off and on throughout your work week. What's going on? These symptoms and more often indicate a common chronic condition called TMJ--temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Fortunately, Denver, CO has a TMJ dentist--Dr. Steven Wilk of the Center for Headache, TMJ and Sleep Disorders. He'll unravel the mystery of TMJ and get you feeling better.

What happens when you have TMJ?

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research says that approximately 10 million American adults have some degree of TMJ Dysfunction. Your TMJ dentist in Denver takes that statistic very seriously, and he has devoted much of his credentialing and dental practice to treating this distressing oral health issue.

At the Center for Headache, TMJ & Sleep Disorders, Dr. Wilk evaluates patients of all ages and walks of life, although younger women under the age of 40 seem more prone. Patients typically present with symptoms that vary in severity. They include:

  • Headaches
  • Ear pain
  • Vertigo, or dizziness
  • Popping and grating noises that occur while chewing or opening and closing the jaw
  • Facial and jaw soreness
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Tinnitus, a ringing sound in the ears
  • Cracked or unevenly worn back teeth

How do these symptoms start? Reasons are wide-ranging and may include oral trauma (a blow to the face or whiplash from an auto accident), stress (leading to teeth clenching, or bruxism), improper dental bite (malocclusion) and arthritis. Unfortunately, when not treated, TMJ Dysfunction can worsen, increasing pain.

You can be treated for TMJ

Begin with a complete evaluation at the Center for Headache, TMJ & Sleep Disorders. Dr. Wilk will ask about your symptoms, palpate your jaw, neck and face and take digital X-rays and other kinds of imaging as needed. Computerized Joint Vibration Analysis tells the doctor the degree of abnormality in jaw joint function.

With results from testing, Dr. Wilk puts together a personalized patient care plan. Depending on the severity of the TMJ Dysfunction, he may employ Phase I or Phase II treatment options.

Phase I options involve treatment of the soft tissues with physical therapy, pain medications, including local anesthetics and muscle relaxants, and customized oral splints. Phase II techniques result in permanent changes to the mouth and jaw and may include orthodontic correction, placement of dental crowns and even oral surgery.

Count on Dr. Wilk

He'll guide you through TMJ evaluation, treatment and follow-up. Feel better soon. Call the Center for Headache, TMJ & Sleep Disorders in Denver, CO at (303) 758-4865 for a consultation.

By Center for Headache, TMJ, and Sleep Disorders
June 19, 2017
Category: Jaw Condition
Tags: TMJ   Clicking   Pain  

Find out what’s really going on behind that rather disconcerting sound.TMJ

Do you find that your jaw sometimes clicks or pops when you open your mouth? Sometimes this might happen if you open your mouth too wide to tackle that ginormous burger or when voraciously chewing gum. If this is the case, it’s time to find out more about how your jaws works, why this is happening and when to visit our Denver, CO, TMJ dentist, Dr. Steven Wilk, for treatment.

In some cases, the popping or crackling sound you hear when you open or close your jaws could be warning you that you have a TMJ disorder. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, and this joint is what connects your lower jaw to the bones at either side of the skull.

This joint is responsible for some pretty important activities like talking, chewing and even yawning. So, if there is something wrong with how the joint moves and functions, then you better believe that you’ll know it. It might come in the form of pain and discomfort, chronic headaches or you may start to notice a popping or clicking sound.

What causes a TMJ disorder?

If you’ve experienced direct trauma to the jaw then you may start to notice this problem not long after the injury. Of course, if you are a teeth grinder you may also be prone to developing this jaw joint problem. Other causes include certain kinds of arthritis and dental misalignments.

How is a TMJ disorder treated?

If you notice your jaw making any kind of noises when opening or closing your mouth, it’s always a good idea to have our Denver general dentist evaluate your jaws. If we determine that you do have a TMJ disorder, don’t worry. It can be managed and most people find that their symptoms will go away on their own with minimal intervention.

Some ways to manage your TMJ disorder include:

  • Cutting food into bite-sized and easily chewable pieces
  • Eating a soft-food diet
  • Performing jaw stretching exercises every day (we would be happy to show you some effective exercises that you can do)
  • Oral device to adjust the jaw while sleeping

If you are dealing with painful, achy jaws and can’t seem to find any comfort from these issues, then don’t hesitate to reach out to the TMJ experts at the Center for Headache, TMJ, and Sleep Disorders in Denver, CO.

By Center for Headache, TMJ, and Sleep Disorders
April 11, 2017
Category: Conditions
Tags: Snoring   TMJ   Sleep Disorder  

Snoring might not seem like a big deal to you but it could be a red flag regarding your health.

Has your bedmate told you that you snore like a freight train? Do you snore loudly every night or more often than not? Does your household complain about how loud your snoring is? If so, this could be a sign of sleep apnea, a sleep condition that causes you to stop breathing multiple times throughout the night. The sooner the issue is caught the better. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, our Denver, CO, dentist Dr. Steven Wilk provides helpful information about what he can do to treat your sleep apnea symptoms.

If loud snoring is due to obstructive sleep apnea this is something that requires immediate care from a sleep specialist. Sleep apnea is not a condition to ignore. This sleep disorder deprives the brain of oxygen, which it needs, and it has been linked with diabetes, stroke and heart attack. If people have told you that you snore and you find yourself waking up extremely exhausted every morning ( no matter how much sleep you get) then it’s time to schedule an appointment with a sleep doctor.

And if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea you may be wondering how our Denver sleep dentist might be able to help. Of course, here at the Center for Headache, TMJ, and Sleep Disorders, we work with you to make sure you are getting the proper and most effective care for managing your snoring and other symptoms.

Oral appliance therapy is a convenient, easy-to-use and portable device that is designed to reposition the jaws and the tongue to prevent the tissues in the back of the throat from collapsing and obstructing the airways. This device looks similar to a mouthguard but it is custom-made to fit over your upper and lower teeth to provide you with the support you need to get a more rested and snore-free night.

If even a full night’s rest doesn’t refresh you then it’s time you called the Center for Headache, TMJ, and Sleep Disorders in Denver, CO, to determine how we can reduce or eliminate your sleep apnea symptoms.

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(303) 758-4865
3540 S. Poplar Street, Suite 301 Denver, CO 80237