TMJ disorder and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are two conditions that many do not realize can be effectively treated by dentists. Because both of these conditions can be related to issues with the jaw and teeth, they can oftentimes be managed or corrected by dental professionals. There are a variety of TMJ disorders and issues that can occur with the joints and muscles, some of which are related to sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can be related to the position or development of the jaws. In turn, jaws that are not properly positioned can lead to TMJ disorder.
Treatment varies as much as the types of disorders, but the goal of TMJ treatment and sleep apnea treatment is to create a harmonious environment that doesn’t require joints and muscles to be overworked in order for the functions in the mouth to work properly. An evaluation from one of our trained dentists can determine the root cause of your symptoms and if TMJ issues and sleep apnea are related. Our TMJ treatment and sleep apnea treatment at our Cambridge and Easton, MD offices ranges from custom mouth guards to orthognathic (corrective jaw) surgery for more severe cases.
Sleep apnea is defined by a restriction of the upper airway during sleep. Many people who suffer from OSA also suffer from chronic clenching and grinding in order to keep the upper airway open. Putting long-term stress and pressure on the teeth, joints, and muscles can lead to symptoms of TMJ disorder, including damaged TM joints and muscles and worn down teeth. Custom mouth guards designed to help keep the jaw in a more ideal position and opening the airway, while also protecting the teeth from wear and tear. By keeping the airway unobstructed during sleep, clenching and grinding cease, and symptoms of TMJ disorder are often resolved as well. In cases where more extreme measure must be taken to correct issues, TMJ treatment may require jaw surgery from our trusted partner oral surgeon.