TMJ and Sleep Apnea

TMJ: There are a variety of TMJ symptoms, with the most easily identifiable relating to conditions involving the jaw, teeth, head, ears, and face:

•Clicking or popping of the TMJ
•Locking of the TMJ
•Bite change
•Ear symptoms
•Headaches from TMJ symptoms
•Depression and sleep deprivation from chronic TMJ pain
Clicking or popping of the TMJ

The most common TMJ symptom is clicking or popping of the jaw joint. This noise often signifies a displaced TMJ cartilage disc and can even be loud enough for others to hear. The TMJ clicking might not accompany pain at the time, but the muscle tension that comes along with TMJ disc displacement will often contribute to head, neck, and facial pain.

Sleep Apnea:
There are three types of apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed (a combination of central and obstructive), with each having its particular level of severity and preferred treatments. The most common of these is obstructive sleep apnea, a condition where the obstruction usually occurs in the upper airway between the root of the tongue and the soft palate.

The medical community now attributes the majority of sleep disordered breathing (SDB) to anatomical, or physical problems rather than to neurological in nature. Even more encouraging today is how most physicians agree that snoring and obstructive sleep apnea can be treated successfully with a dental appliance.

An oral (or dental) appliance is a small device that's very similar to an orthodontic retainer. It's worn in the mouth while sleeping to help prevent soft throat tissues from collapsing and obstructing the airway. Some of the devices hold the lower jaw forward during sleep, while other appliances directly affect tongue position. They are especially helpful to patients who are intolerant of their CPAP mask, or for snoring only. Accepted by patients and sleep specialists for both comfort & effectiveness, oral appliance therapy has some very definite advantages.
Content Copyright 2011 - Dr. Kenneth Farha - All Rights Reserved