TMD and Sleep Apnea May Be Related

TMD and Sleep Apnea May Be Related

Have you ever woken up with headaches near your temples and a tight feeling in your jaw?  You may be grinding your teeth at night without realizing it!

Bruxism (clenching and grinding) can be an important symptom to recognize in the treatment of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ/TMD) as well as for sleep apnea.  In fact, the two disorders frequently go hand in hand.

Some other symptoms to watch for in conjunction with TMD and sleep apnea include:

Worn Teeth: The jaw pain you feel in the mornings is usually from grinding your teeth. Grinding will produce wear and tear on the enamel.  You may start to see yellowed spots on the tops of your teeth, which is the dentin showing through. Wear can also show up as cracks or uneven chipping on the biting surfaces.

Night Waking: If you’re getting up at night to go to the bathroom a lot, especially with grinding and worn teeth, it may be a sign of sleep apnea. Your body will do whatever necessary to get you to breathe, including sending signals that you need to relieve yourself, even if you don’t!

Snoring: This is the most common symptom of sleep apnea, and one that is usually first noted by a sleeping partner. Snoring allows you to hear exactly what happens with sleep apnea. Every breath becomes more labored, more obstructed, until finally, there is no breath because the airway is closed off.

If you begin noticing these symptoms in yourself or in your partner, start thinking about having a sleep study, either at home, or at a sleep clinic. You’ll need that in order to get any treatment, including an oral sleep device.

Call Dr. Jamsheed to find out more information about how a dentist can help you get a better night’s sleep!

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