You have probably heard the terms “sleep apnea” and “TMJ disorder,” but did you know that these two conditions may be related?
Sleep apnea is a sleep-related breathing disorder, and TMJ disorder is a problem with the way your jaw joint functions. They are often treated separately, however, research shows that they may be connected. Your sleep apnea dentist in Hershey, PA explains.
The Difference Between Sleep Apnea and TMJ Disorder
Sleep apnea is also referred to as obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. It is characterized by loud snoring and frequent pauses in breathing during sleep and occurs because the tongue relaxes and restricts airflow. There are numerous risks for sleep apnea including age, weight, and gender. Untreated OSA can lead to high blood, pressure, heart disease, and Type II Diabetes.
Your TMJ is the joint that controls the movement of your lower jaw, and when it’s not functioning properly, it is referred to as TMD or temporomandibular joint disorder. TMD can cause neck, head, and jaw pain, and premature wearing of teeth.
While there are various factors that increase your risk for TMD such as obesity and age, there is also another connection. There is evidence that TMJ problems and sleep apnea often go hand-in-hand because the alignment of upper and lower teeth impacts the position of the tongue.
We Treat Sleep Apnea and TMD
Another similarity between the two disorders is that they can often be addressed with simple customized oral appliances. Dr. Wesley Davis offers sleep apnea treatment in Hershey, PA using a device that fits over your front teeth and repositions your jaw forward during sleep. This prevents your tongue from blocking the airway so you can breathe freely.
If you always feel tired or have difficulty concentrating, you may have sleep apnea. Call Dr. Davis today, and he’ll provide the personalized treatment and relief you need.