At first glance, TMJD (temporomandibular joint disorders) and OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) don’t seem to share anything in common. That’s because the latter causes extreme jaw pain while the other obstructs breathing while a person sleeps. But unfortunately, this dynamic duo afflicts many patients, especially those seeking TMJ relief in Oklahoma City.
Moreover, many of these individuals share terrible experiences because of their TMJD and OSA symptoms. This isn’t surprising because it can be difficult to brave intense bouts of jaw pain coupled with the side effects of sleep deprivation.
Hopefully, our blog article can help you understand why TMJD and OSA often develop hand in hand and how you can cope with the symptoms better using an unexpected remedy.
Understanding TMJ and its Disorders
TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint, the pair of sliding hinges connecting your temporal bone and mandible (lower jawbones). These two allow you to open your mouth and perform essential daily activities such as chewing, yawning, and talking.
Any pain or problem around the TMJ falls under TMD or TMJD, aka temporomandibular disorders. TMD and TMJD are interchangeable as they denote dysfunction in one’s jaw, joint, or head and neck muscles.
These disorders can stem from several things, including trauma or pressure in the TMJ area, improper bite, or a misalignment in the vertebrae connected to the neck and skull. Typical symptoms of TMJ disorders include headaches, jaw tenderness, and earaches that may cause tinnitus or hearing problems.
TMJ pain ranges from mild discomfort to debilitating agony and may lead to other health complications.
One of the most common disorders linked closely with TMJ pain is OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Researchers describe it as a sleep-breathing disorder that randomly starts or stops breathing activities while sleeping.
The Link between TMJ Pain and Sleep Apnea
Studies note that the two conditions mainly operate around the temporomandibular joint. As a result, they often develop hand-in-hand and even exacerbate each other. Studies show that about 75% of TMJ pain patients are diagnosed with sleep apnea, and 52% of OSA patients experience persistent TMJ pain.
The connection between OSA and TMJD lies in the TMJ and jawbone movements. Notably, individuals suffer from obstructive sleep apnea have a collapsed airway when they sleep. This forces their jaw muscles and TMJ to open and drop low to permit airflow into the windpipe.
Unfortunately, this constant motion of the jaw TMJ throughout the night, coupled with occasional teeth grinding, puts undue mechanical pressure on the jaw joint. As a result, people with OSA often wake up with horrible TMJ pain.
What Can You Do If Diagnosed with TMJD or Sleep Apnea?
There are many ways to alleviate TMJ pain or sleep apnea. Below are some of the easy DIY fixes you can do in the comfort of your home:
- Apply ice or moist heat to the affected area to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Work on your posture to reduce the impact of the misaligned bones on your jaws, affecting your trigeminal nerve or your pain receptors.
- Try gentle jaw exercises to reduce any potential swelling or locking for mild TMJ pain.
- Manage your stress levels better through relaxation techniques like yoga, breathing, and meditation.
- Adjust your sleeping position to reduce the impact of the misaligned bones on your trigeminal nerve.
- Reduce your alcohol intake as it serves as a stimulant for teeth grinding and blocked airways while sleeping.
These techniques may be beneficial in providing short-term relief, especially if done correctly and diligently. However, they might not help provide lasting relief from TMJ pain and sleep apnea. So, you might want to consider other proven remedies such as upper cervical chiropractic.
NUCCA: Your Natural Option for TMJ Relief in Oklahoma City
Being subtle and easily overlooked, TMJ disorders and sleep apnea concern a large portion of the adult population. TMJ disorder has an alarming 5 to 12 percent prevalence rate in the United States alone, prompting many people to actively seek out TMJ relief in Oklahoma City and other parts of the country. The highest incidence occurs between 20 and 40 and causes worse effects on women.
The best long-term solution for TMJ pain and sleep apnea is NUCCA care. This chiropractic technique targets the vertebral bones in the cervical spine, ensuring the focus on the very root cause of your pain.
Essentially, this method aims to fix postural problems that might contribute to your TMJ’s inflammation or irritation. Notably, case studies have proven that the tiniest changes in the C1 and C2 neck bone alignment can tip the balance of the entire vertebral column. In addition, the postural problem can disrupt various nervous system functions like pain and pressure perception.
Thankfully, with the help of a NUCCA doctor like Dr. Jennifer Sheppard, patients like you have a better shot at diagnosing and fixing postural imbalances.
Precision Chiropractic: Your Partner in Achieving Lasting TMJD and OSA Relief
You do not have to live with persistent jaw pain or sleep apnea. Let our NUCCA doctor, Dr. Jennifer Sheppard, help you jumpstart your recovery journey. With her guidance and experience in NUCCA care, you can better grasp your condition and start seeing improvements in your sleeping disorders and TMJ pain.
NUCCA chiropractic care is a mild, non-invasive upper cervical chiropractic technique that works wonders in restoring balance in your body. If you are experiencing consistent and debilitating pain in your jaw or having sleep-breathing problems, contact us at Precision Chiropractic and ask about our option for TMJ relief in Oklahoma City.
You may visit us at 10420 Greenbriar Parkway, Oklahoma City, and share your concerns with Dr. Sheppard and the rest of the team. You may also book a consultation or appointment with us by calling 405-378-3100 or our web form. Precision Chiropractic caters to patients Monday to Thursday from 9 am to 5 pm.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Sheppard, call our Oklahoma City office at 405-378-3100. You can also click the button below.
If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.