Sleep disorders and TMJ are often associated problems. Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. Untreated, sleep apnea can cause a person to literally stop breathing repeatedly during sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. This means your sleep is interrupted, you will not get a good night’s rest, you might have intense snoring, and in severe cases, that your brain and body might not get enough oxygen.
While there are multiple reasons for sleep apnea, one of the most common is a blockage of the airway, when the soft tissue in the back of the throat blocks the flow of air. Misalignment of the jaw, such as occurs in TMJ, can be one of the causes of this blockage.
A simple test, called the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, is often utilized as a preliminary diagnostic tool to provide preliminary insight into sleeping habits. Should you fall outside the range of “normal,” be sure and mention this at your next exam.
Take the sleep disorder test