TMJ Disorder diagnosis & Treatment

Did you know that Jaw Pain can be associated with Sleep Disorders?

What is TMJ?

You have a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) that connects your lower jaw (the mandible) to your skull on either side of your head in front of your ears.  The muscles of these two joints make it possible for you to open and close your mouth, chew, swallow, talk and yawn.  The term temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD) covers a variety of conditions that cause jaw pain and dysfunction at one or both joints

How Is Jaw Pain Related to Sleep Disorders?

More and more evidence is surfacing that shows the connection between TMJD and sleep disturbances like sleep apnea and snoring.  “Bite relationship” is the result of how your upper and lower teeth mesh together when you bite down.  This relationship determines the alignment of your mandible, the position and mechanics of your temporomandibular joints, and the position of your tongue.  When the teeth are misaligned, the tongue can block the airway as you sleep.  In many cases of sleep apnea, a misaligned jaw is actually to blame. 1

Recent studies have shown that when the throat begins to relax and the tongue slides backwards, your jaw clamps down in a reflex to prevent the airway from being blocked.  As the reflex action occurs over and over during the night, it places excessive stress on the jaw, mouth, neck and shoulders, and may cause TMJD. 2

TMJ Ear and Jaw Pain
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"I was referred to him when I saw another doctor for my enlarged thyroid.  Dr. Skarada tried so diligently to repair my paralyzed vocal cord, and after two surgeries, it was very successful.  He gave me my voice back and my livelihood as well.  I appreciate him so much."

Patient Success Stories
Sinus Pain Relief Patient

"Extremely Happy With The Results!"

"Dr. Lee took a lot of time explaining the benefits of various oral appliances and why a custom appliance should be worn instead of ordering one online. I wore the appliance the entire night the first night and every night since. I have stopped snoring and sleep for longer periods of time."

Patient Success Stories
Patient Success With Modern Nose Treatment

"The Results Were Wonderful!"

"I no longer snore, I sleep all night long, I feel rested and ready for a good days work. I have been retested for the sleep apnea using the oral appliance and I do not have any episodes of 'not breathing' anymore."

Patient Success Stories

Please note:  every patient is unique, and your results my vary.

TMJD and Sleep Disorders Can Affect Each Other

Jaw pain is a common indication of a sleep disorder, but TMJD symptoms can both overlap and mimic those of some sleep disorders.

  • TMJD leads to damaged and loosened joints.  Consequently, as you sleep, this causes your jaw to fall further back, allowing the tongue to increase obstruction in your airway
  • Sleep disorders tend to make you unconsciously clench and grind your teeth during the night as you try to find a position to keep your airway open to breathe.  This constant pressure on the jaw muscles may inflame the temporomandibular joints and create TMJD or make it worse.3

Treating TMJD and Sleep Disorders

For successful treatment, it’s essential for your specialist to recognize both the physiology and function of the mandible and the TMJ muscles as they relate to sleep disorders.  It’s a complicated connection that requires a specially trained professional for assessment and treatment.  Modern Nose Clinic offers a wide variety of treatment options, including the latest in oral appliance technology.

Many times, for both sufferers of TMJ disorder and sleep disorder, the most effective treatment is an oral appliance that fits like a sports mouthguard or an orthodontic retainer.  This device is worn while you sleep and repositions the jaw, easing TMJ tension and preventing the soft tissue obstruction that leads to snoring and sleep apnea.  Oral appliances are non-invasive, non-surgical, simple, well tolerated and efficient. 3

The appropriate range of mandibular adjustments for each patient must be carefully determined using advanced measurement equipment by specialty dentists who are trained in its operation, like our specialist, Dr. Nahmjee Lee-Skarada.  She is one of the few dentists in the country who has completed the extensive education, training and certification in sleep medicine to become a diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (DABDSM).

Treating TMJ Disorder

Dr. Lee-Skarada can conduct the examination and measurements necessary to determine the most appropriate treatment for your situation.  All oral appliances used to treat TMJD or sleep disosrders are custom-fitted to you and designed for your specific needs. If you’re concerned that you’re suffering from TMJD or a sleep disorder, contact the Modern Nose Clinic today to schedule your visit.

Advanced Oral Appliance Treatments

Learn more about options for treatment with oral appliances offered by Sleep and Snoring Specialists at Modern Nose Clinic.

We can free you from the symptoms of TMJD and Sleep Disorders.

Call Us to Schedule Your Evaluation!

Modern Nose Clinic

(503) 877-9966