Beyond Dental and Implant Center

All Dental Implants

Sleep Apnea and TMJ Treatment Questions and Answers

All-on-4 Dental Implant Treatment In DFW, TX

Sleep Apnea and TMJ Treatment Questions and Answers

Sleep apnea and TMJ are conditions that can develop together, and can reinforce one another. Beyond Dental and Implant Center provides high quality, whole body, airway-focused dentistry for the whole family! Dr. Cory Nguyen, our double board-certified dental implant and sleep dentistry doctor, provides personalized treatment plans specific to your needs. Call us today or schedule an appointment online. We are accepting new patients. We have 2 convenient locations to serve you in Dallas TX, Fort Worth TX, and Surrounding Areas!

Sleep Apnea and TMJ Treatment Questions and Answers
Sleep Apnea and TMJ Treatment Questions and Answers

How is Sleep Apnea and TMJ connected?

Sleep apnea and TMJ have been linked as conditions that can reinforce each other and develop together. Doctor Cory is a renowned expert in this field and has the highest level of education for sleep apnea. Through testing, it has been discovered that many people suffer from both disorders, leading doctors to look for a connection between the two to properly diagnose and treat patients who have both conditions. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a narrowing or obstruction of the throat while a person is asleep. This narrowing or obstruction can be the result of TMJ, which is a misalignment of the jaw. TMJ can be caused from stress put on the jaw joint as the result of orthodontics, tooth wear or poorly designed or fitted dental restorations. On the flipside, sleep apnea can also worsen TMJ. When oxygen levels in the body drop due to sleep apnea, the brain sends out signals to multiple systems in the body to get more oxygen to the brain. One of these signals can be sent to the jaw muscles, forcing them to clench in an effort to open the airway. This clenching can cause damage to the jaw joint as well as tooth wear, which will make the TMJ worse.

Can TMJ occur due to grinding your teeth in your sleep?

Teeth grinding is also known as Bruxism and is often confused with TMJ. These are different disorders, with a correlative relationship. TMJ symptoms can be exacerbated and caused by teeth grinding, and teeth griding has been found to be one of the major causes of TMJ. So yes, TMJ can occur due to teeth grinding in your sleep. Teeth grinding in your sleep can lead to cracked teeth, decay, receding gums and wearing down or flattening of the teeth. TMJ and Bruxism can both lead to joint pain in the jaw, insomnia and sleep disturbances. The grinding of teeth at night can also be accompanied by a clenching of the jaw, both during sleep and while awake. The acts of teeth grinding and jaw clenching can both alter the teeth as well as the actual jaw structure and alignment, which is what leads to TMJ.

How can I improve my TMJ and Sleep?

TMJ can lead to problems with sleep due to pain in the ear and neck from headaches as a result of TMJ, teeth grinding during sleep and as a cause of sleep apnea. Helping relieve the symptoms of TMJ can result in a better night’s sleep. This can be done in a few different ways, with the help of your primary care doctor or you dentist. One avenue is pain management using either over-the-counter or prescription medication to relieve the pain caused by TMJ. This only treats the pain though and doesn’t address the underlying problem of TMJ. Your dentist can fit you for a custom-made splint to wear on either your upper or lower teeth to prevent grinding while you sleep and relieve the jaw. There are also long-term options of splints available that can correct a bite alignment by repositioning the jaw. Many other treatment options exist such as Botox, steroid injections, physical therapy and orthodontics to help improve bite alignment. Working with your doctor and your dentist can help you determine what the best option is for you and your unique case.

What treatment is used for sleep apnea and TMJ?

Sleep apnea and TMJ treatment can go hand in hand to help alleviate symptoms of both conditions due to the link that has been found between the two conditions. Determining if TMJ is the cause of sleep apnea and treating it accordingly can provide relief for both issues. Sleep apnea can be caused by TMJ and TMJ can be caused by teeth grinding which can be made worse by sleep apnea. Participating in sleep apnea testing can determine what role TMJ is playing in the condition and getting treated for TMJ can lessen the severity of your sleep apnea. Working with a doctor specializing in sleep apnea like Dr. Cory will ensure that the treatment is appropriate and suitable for each individual case.

If you would like to learn more about our dental services at Beyond Smiles or want to schedule an appointment with us, we would be pleased to hear from you! We invite you to call us or schedule an appointment on our website. We serve patients from Dalla TX, Fort Worth TX, Cockrell Hill TX, Highland Park TX, Mesquite TX, Melody Hills TX, and Forest Hill