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Can TMJ Make Sleep Apnea Worse?


Posted on 11/15/2023 by Weo Admin
Close up of a simple mouthguard being held up by a womanYou can have both TMJ and sleep apnea disorders back-to-back. Both disorders can cause the other, and both make the other's case worse than it was. For instance, if the jaw is not in its correct position, it will cause TMJ pains and obstruct the airway, causing sleep apnea or worsening it. Sleep apnea, on the other hand, will cause TMJ complications, as the jaw is shifted from time to time to ease breathing.

[[[H2:Understanding Sleep Apnea]]

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that makes your breathing stop at intervals during sleep. If you have sleep apnea, your breathing stops occasionally when you are sleeping. In worst cases, it can happen up to 30 times an hour and lead to unusually loud snoring.

It can occur due to the relaxation of the throat muscles. This is known as obstructive apnea. It can also be due to the brain's failure to provide the right signals to muscles that aid with breathing during sleep. This is called central sleep apnea. The other type of sleep apnea combines both obstructive and central sleep apnea. This type is referred to as complex sleep apnea or treatment-emergent central sleep apnea.

How TMJ Can Make Sleep Apnea Worse?



TMJ or temporomandibular joint complications bring sleeping problems. Researchers have found that half the people suffering from TMJ face sleeping challenges. If you have repeated problems with your TMJ, including pain, clicking, jaw stiffness, and sore facial muscles, then your sleep apnea could worsen.

The size of the airway is a bit small, and it is located near the TMJ. This positioning makes the two conditions related. When the airway has collapsed an automatic response occurs in the body that causes the lower jaw to protrude forward. Those repeated back-and-forth movements may contribute to stress and tension in the jaw joints.

As such, sleep apnea can give you TMJ complications and can even worsen existing ones. Again, TMJ disorders can also be a cause of sleep apnea. To understand more about these two conditions, book an appointment with us for consultations with our oral surgeon.




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Young Jun DDS MD FACS, 601 E. Yorba Linda Blvd. #9, Placentia, CA 92870, (657) 216-1617, placentiaoralsurgery.com, 4/16/2024, Associated Words: dental implants Placentia CA,