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Waking Up Unrested? Sleep Apnea vs. TMJ

August 21, 2018
Posted By: Dr. Gabe Adorjan
A woman sleeps | Woodland Hills Sleep Apnea Treatment

Do you wake up in the morning feeling tired? Does this tired feeling persist throughout the day? Does your jaw ache? Head hurt? You could be suffering from sleep apnea or temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ).

According to the latest statistics, more than 18 million people in the United States suffer from sleep apnea, and 35 million have been diagnosed with TMJ.

Let’s look at the symptoms of sleep apnea vs. TMJ, the similarities, differences, and risks.

Sleep Apnea Overview

You go to bed early enough but wake up feeling tired. For most of us, this tired feeling diminishes after coffee or by late morning. But for people with sleep apnea, the tired feeling can last all day, interfering with work and family obligations. This tiredness occurs because sufferers stop breathing for short periods during the night.

Sleep apnea sufferers are also prone to teeth grinding while asleep, which leads to jaw pain.

Some symptoms of sleep apnea can include:

  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Jaw Pain
  • Nightmares
  • Snoring

TMJ Overview

The temporomandibular joint connects the jawbone to the skull, almost like a slide hinge. Dysfunctions of this joint can cause widespread pain throughout the jaw, face, and even the ears. Sometimes the pain is accompanied by swelling.

TMJ symptoms overlap sleep apnea in the following ways:

  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Jaw Pain 

If you think you have sleep apnea, it’s important to visit your dentist right away for an assessment. Sleep apnea, if left untreated, can lead to serious complications like heart attack or stroke.

If you are diagnosed with this common sleep disorder, our Manhattan Beach, CA sleep apnea treatment utilizes all the latest techniques and devices to manage your symptoms. Our skilled dentist, Dr. Gabe Adorjan, will have you feeling better in no time.

If you’re concerned about potential sleep apnea or TMJ, don’t hesitate to contact Modern American Dentistry today to schedule an appointment.

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