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TMJ Symptoms: Sleep Disorders

Sleepless days, sleepless nights

love_lifeWhen you wake up in the morning, do you ever wonder if you slept at all? Is bedtime filled with anxiety and apprehension? Do you spend your days lethargic, weary and in a fog-like state?

What if we told you all of this could be linked to TMJ? There is often an over-looked yet equally as serious connection between breathing and airway problems and an unaligned jaw (TMJ).

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The connection between TMJ and your airways

tmj_airwaysYou may wonder how TMJ is connected to your breathing passageways. How does an incorrect placement of your jaw joint impact your airways and lead to a myriad of night-time associated problems, especially sleep apnea.

First off, let’s explain sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep, due to breathing airways being blocked or restricted. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. A lot of times, those suffering from sleep apnea are often unaware they even have it. It takes a bed partner or someone else to alert them to the situation.

Get your tongue out of the way!

Your tongue is attached to your lower jaw and when your bite is un-aligned your tongue acts as a pillow. It cushions the jaw and helps it to relax. An imbalance in your bite affects the size of your mouth and the altered size of your mouth no longer accommodates your tongue. Your tongue can’t sit where it should. If your tongue rests too far back in your mouth, it will block the air getting to your lungs.

When you snore or if you suffer from sleep apnea, it can be a direct correlation to your TMJ. Snoring can increase in people that have a severe and deep overbite. When your upper teeth cover your lower teeth, it may mean that your tongue is forced back in your mouth. This restricts your breathing airways and compounds your snoring and sleep apnea.

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Affects of sleep apnea

sleepySleep apnea is a medical condition affecting the quantity and quality of the sleep you get every night. Obviously if you are experiencing substantial disturbances in your normal sleep patterns, you will suffer the consequences. You will feel sleepy during the day and your concentration and daytime performance will suffer.

Some consequences of sleep apnea include:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • stress
  • irritability and aggressive behavior
  • memory and concentration difficulties

Waking up un-refreshed and exhausted every morning could be a direct correlation to your on-going struggle with TMJ. Sleepless nights and jaw problems might seem to be unrelated but it could be the link and the answer you are looking for.

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