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Linking TMJ and Sleep Apnea

A dual diagnosis of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ/TMJD) and sleep apnea is common. Many individuals that suffer from TMJ will also suffer from symptoms of sleep apnea. A study concluded that individuals who experience two or more sleep apnea symptoms at 73 percent more likely to have TMJ. TMJ and sleep apnea share many symptoms, and both could result from physical trauma to the jaw or face, stress, genetics, or malocclusion. Malocclusion is the misalignment of a person's teeth, creating a bad bite when the jaw is shut. Overbites, underbites, and crossbites are all types of malocclusion that can result in jaw pain or TMJ.

 The TMJ and Sleep Apnea Connection

Sleep apnea is the condition where the airway collapses or where the tongue falls back, blocking the airway. When the airway collapses, the body will attempt to open the airway and respond by pushing the lower jaw forward. Due to the positioning of the lower jaw to prevent the airway from collapsing, individuals can develop TMJ. Alternatively, individuals with a malocclusion that forces the lower jaw backward may have TMJ, leading to disordered breathing.

If an individual suffers from TMJ and sleep apnea, they might exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Jaw pain
  • Neck or back pain
  • Headaches
  • Clenching or grinding of teeth
  • Excessive snoring
  • Fatigue

Although these symptoms might not mean an individual has TMJ or sleep apnea, it can be beneficial to be aware of these symptoms and track how often they occur. With proper diagnosis and treatment, individuals can find relief from TMJ and sleep apnea symptoms. In addition to diagnosing and treating jaw pain and a sleep disorder, individuals should always discuss concerns, questions, and any changes in their jaw and sleep routine to ensure effective treatments.

Some TMJ treatments include:

  • Oral Appliance Therapy
  • Oral reconstruction

Sleep apnea treatments include:

 Jaw Pain and Sleep Relief in Washington

Dr. Buck is a facial orthopedist based in the state of Washington. Dr. Buck, and his fellow ENT physicians and pulmonologists, by combining their expertise, help patients find relief from sleep apnea. With Dr. Buck and his team, relief from the severity and alleviate symptoms of sleep breathing issues is possible. For more information on Dr. Buck's practice and the treatment options he provides, please schedule an appointment by giving us a call today at 206-316-8286. Additionally, one may contact us by filling out our online form.

Sleep Apnea and Epigenetic Dentistry
Untreated Malocclusion

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Epigenetic Orthodontics can open and protect the airway enhancing breathing both during sleep and awake activities.

Dr. Buck practices a philosophy that integrates airway into all diagnosis and treatments. Dentistry has traditionally not considered the airway when planning dental treatments. Fortunately, today there is a rapidly growing movement that now recognizes how dentistry can have an impact on the airway which affects breathing during sleep. If dental treatments, including TMJ, orthopedic and orthodontics are well planned the result can be that the airway is protected or even enhanced. There is a clear link between underdeveloped and retruded jaws together with narrow dental arches that puts a patient at risk for sleep breathing disorders.

Please visit this site for more information; Airway Health

WOW! A 54% decrease in forward head posture; 164% increase in the antero-posterior size of the airway; 176% increase in the lateral size of the airway all from epigenetically centered jaw development orthopedics. This is the future of orthodontics!​