sleep apnea and TMJ


Snap, crackle, pop. That’s the last thing you want to hear coming from your jaw. TMJ affects millions of adults every year, and too many of them aren’t getting the proper treatment. If jaw pain or discomfort is affecting your everyday and making you lose sleep at night, it’s time you give our team a call at Black Bear Dental.

What is TMJ?

TMJ disorder, typically just called TMJ or TMD, is a condition affecting the temporomandibular joint. This is the sliding hinge joint that connects your jaw to the rest of your skull. It’s responsible for helping you chew and talk. TMJ disorder causes discomfort while performing regular, daily tasks and can be caused by an array of reasons, including teeth grinding, arthritis, and sleep apnea.

Signs and Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

TMJ can be an unexpected diagnosis for some patients. This is because the symptoms are synonymous with many other disorders. Common signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder include but aren’t limited to:

  • Jaw pain, especially when chewing
  • Clicking sounds when opening and closing jaw
  • Aching around the ears
  • Frequent headaches
  • Lockjaw

The Connection Between TMD and Sleep Apnea

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a chronic sleep condition that affects millions of Americans annually. When a person suffers from sleep apnea, it means they are experiencing a cessation of breath for 10 seconds or more several times throughout the night.

How Does TMD Cause Sleep Apnea?

A recent study found that 43% of people that suffer from TMJ disorders also have difficulty sleeping. Sleep apnea causes the airway to collapse, triggering the body’s automatic response of pushing the lower jaw forward to open the airway. This motion of the TMJ through the night causes stress and tension in the jaw joint, resulting in the pain and discomfort associated with TMD.

Suffering from TMJ Disorder or Sleep Apnea in Henderson, NC?

Black Bear Dental is here to help! Don’t keep losing sleep or wait until your symptoms worsen. We’re here to get your oral, and by extension, your overall health in check. So, please contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

Schedule your appointment today!
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