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The Relationship Between Sleep Apnea and TMJ Disorders

If you have TMJ pain, it’s really important to tell your doctor if you have a sleep related breathing disorder (including sleep apnea), and here’s why.

According to the Mayo Clinic, sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts.

You may have sleep apnea if you snore loudly, and you feel tired even after a full night’s sleep. The most common type of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea and occurs when your throat muscles relax and cause pauses in breathing, lasting anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.

Dangerous Impact on Overall Health

Fragmented sleep can have a detrimental impact on your overall health. Aside from the obvious impact of not getting enough sleep, sleep apnea can trigger headaches, migraines, heart problems, and increase your sensitivity to pain.

There are a myriad of reasons that people develop sleep apnea. Obesity, a narrow airway, large tonsils, sedatives, and smoking or drinking alcohol before bed are just some of the risk factors.

The bottom line is this: When something restricts normal breathing, oxygen levels will drop. When your oxygen levels drop, your brain will become stressed. And a stressed brain opens up the possibility of many other problems, including sleep bruxism, or teeth grinding. Bruxism can cause your jaw joints (TMJs) to be overworked leading to all kinds of problems, including pain.

Sleep Apnea Can Lead To Bruxism

A number of years ago, a TMJ dentist, like myself, began to notice that a large percentage of their patients had the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea. Studies revealed that breathing restrictions, like those accompanying sleep apnea, can trigger the nightly occurrence of sleep bruxism.

Treatment for TMJ and Sleep Apnea in Pasadena CA

Hopefully, you can now see the connection between sleep apnea and TMJ pain. Please consider getting evaluated for sleep apnea if you’re suffering from TMJ pain. A careful evaluation process will determine the best type of treatment.

If you are living in Southern California and are tired of living with chronic pain from headaches, migraines, or a TMJ disorder, contact Pasadena Pain Management for a FREE consultation.

Let us help you start living PAIN FREE again.

About Pasadena Pain Management

Pasadena Pain Management offers pain management treatment for TMJ/TMD, migraine, headaches and neck pain in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.