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Seeking Relief from TMJ or Sleep Apnea?
What Is TMJ?
The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is the joint connecting the lower jaw to the rest of the skull. It is located immediately in front of the ear on both sides of the head. Its primary function is to allow the jaw to smoothly move up and down, and side to side. It makes talking, chewing, and yawning possible.
When injured or irritated, it can cause pain and discomfort throughout your waking hours.
What Causes TMJ?
Problems with TMJ pain are commonly found in 20 to 40 year olds, and most often in women.
The TMJ can become injured, irritated, or otherwise aggravated for a number of reasons. The following are some of the most common causes.
- Dislocation or injury of the TMJ
- Grinding or clenching in sleep
What Are the Symptoms of TMJ Pain?
TMJ is primarily identified as pain/aching in the TMJ area. Other common symptoms include:
- Clicking sound coming from jaw
- Jaw sometimes locks or sticks
- Difficulty moving mouth
- Frequent headaches
- Tired mandible
- Ringing in ears
How to Treat It?
There isn’t a “cure” for this issue, but there is relief that can be found in therapy. Craniofacial Pain offers helpful therapy to regain normal joint function, improve overall health, and enhance quality of life. With the right treatment, you can overcome pain and learn how to keep it away in the future.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that is best characterized as interrupted breathing during sleep. Breaths can become shallow and infrequent. They can even pause for seconds to minutes at a time. The result is that your blood doesn’t receive enough oxygen, signaling the brain to wake the body up, and return proper breathing patterns.
The problem is more annoying than life threatening. The brain disrupts your needed sleep to restore breathing. The cycle repeats itself often throughout the night, keeping you from your deepest levels of sleep. It is recommended to seek treatment to avoid later heart problems and other complications.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
It’s actually quite common in adults. There are two main types of sleep apnea: obstructive and central.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common of these. It is most often attributed to a temporary collapse of the wind pipe. The muscles surrounding the wind pipe relax, narrowing and sometimes closing the airway to your lungs.
Central sleep apnea happens when your brain doesn’t send the right signals to continue breathing.
In both cases, the body responds to the lack of oxygen by sending a pulse to the brain to restart breathing.
What Are the Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?
- Sleepiness throughout the day (due to lack of restful sleep throughout the night)
- Episodes of breathing cessation (usually observed by another as you sleep)
- Suddenly waking up in the middle of the night with shortness of breath
- Snoring (from the blocked passageway in obstructive sleep apnea)
- Dry mouth or sore throat in the morning
How to Treat It?
There are a number of ways to treat sleep apnea.
- Nasal CPAP
- Dental Sleep Appliance
The treatment is tailored to the specific needs of the patient. A specialist at Craniofacial Pain can help you properly diagnose and treat sleep apnea.