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Chronic Jaw Pain and Inadequate Sleep: What’s the Connection?

February 20, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — powellgroup @ 8:30 pm
middle-aged man asleep with his mouth open and snoring

Do you struggle with sleep apnea? Do you have chronic jaw pain that has been bothering you for years? Did you know that the two might be connected? When attempting to treat sleep apnea, it is often found that temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is commonly experienced by individuals who have difficulty sleeping. As a result, TMJ Treatment in Powell can be a viable solution to treating both problems at the same time. Read on to learn more about this connection and how the right therapy can give you the relief you need.

What is the Link Between Sleep Apnea and TMJ?

Yes, the two conditions are very different. Sleep apnea occurs as a result of a blocked airway that produces inadequate oxygen levels resulting in sleep deprivation. TMJ disorder arises when there is a problem with the temporomandibular joint, resulting in pain, headaches, and difficulty chewing or opening your mouth.

So, what is the connection?

You may be surprised to learn that the increase in misaligned dental occlusions among individuals can be a root cause for both TMJ disorder and sleep apnea. If you consider the population of infants and how they eat, many are breastfed before transitioning to a bottle or soft foods. However, if breastfeeding is not an option, the alternative food sources keep the tongue away from the roof of the mouth and cause various developmental problems, such as:

  • Smaller nasal passages
  • Underdeveloped upper jaw
  • Crooked, misaligned teeth

If a child’s teeth are unable to properly align, this may cause the lower jaw to move backward and restrict their airway. The jawbone’s alignment is crucial to prevent sleep apnea in Powell and TMJ, but if it is improperly aligned, chronic jaw pain can develop.

If left untreated, both sleep apnea and TMJ can lead to a lifetime of serious problems and possibly fatal consequences.

How Can Treatment Address Both Issues?

Finding the right method of therapy is easy. After undergoing a sleep test and being formally diagnosed, you can see a dentist in Powell about your treatment options. Nowadays, dental professionals are turning to a more feasible, flexible, and more compact solution – oral appliance therapy.

These custom-made devices are made to fit inside your mouth and reposition your jaw. By moving it slightly forward, this not only opens up the airway, but it also reduces the amount of pressure on the temporomandibular joint.

While they may look like a typical mouthguard, do not be fooled into buying a one-size-fits-all device. Instead, having your dentist work with a dental lab to create a customized device made specifically for your mouth and your needs will be most beneficial for achieving desired results.

Don’t continue to let sleep apnea and TMJ ruin your life. Seek help by a qualified sleep dentist who can work with you to identify the problem and find the right solution.

About the Practice
Powell Dental Group is comprised of a team of expert dentists and staff who can offer patients a chance at revitalized health. Offering sleep apnea treatment, we can work to identify the root cause of why you’re not resting at night and work to offer valuable solutions to not only help you achieve the sleep you deserve but also combat additional problems you may be experiencing such as TMJ. To learn more about our treatment options, contact us at (614) 436-4433 or visit our website.