If you have recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you are likely confused as to what is causing the interruptions in your breathing while you are sleeping. You may be surprised to learn that your TMJ disorder may be the cause. If your jaw does not rest in its ideal position, it can cause a blockage in your airways, resulting in numerous pauses in breathing throughout the night. Over time, this can significantly impact your quality of life and your health. To get the relief you need, sleep apnea treatment in Wesley Chapel can help.
Connection Between TMJ and Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes you to stop breathing frequently throughout the night with each interruption potentially lasting for longer than one minute. Often, it is believed that the only complication from the condition is loud, excessive snoring, but this is not so.
The lack of adequate oxygen levels will place a strain on your heart, increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, the poor quality of sleep can lead to sleep deprivation, decreased cognitive abilities, depression, and mood swings.
There are several risk factors that increase your likeliness for the condition, such as a large neck circumference or obesity; however, TMJ disorders can also play a role. If your jaw is shifted backward from a poorly aligned bite, it puts a strain on the soft tissues, bones, and muscles of your jaw. This can cause your airway to narrow. In some cases, your airway may collapse, causing you to stop breathing.
Treating Sleep Apnea
To protect your health and your quality of life, you will need treatment for sleep apnea. In the past, the condition was often managed using a CPAP. This is a machine that delivers a steady stream of air through a mask that is worn over your mouth or nose while you sleep. The gentle pressure keeps your airways open to prevent pauses in breathing. While it is effective, many want a CPAP alternative in Wesley Chapel because it can be uncomfortable and restrictive.
As an alternative to a CPAP, many are now turning to an oral appliance. This is a custom-fit device that is like a mouthguard. Instead of protecting your teeth, it repositions your jaw forward. This helps to prevent the soft tissues from collapsing to keep your airways open. When used correctly, it has shown to be effective for treating mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea.
Sleep Soundly Tonight!
If you have sleep apnea, your dentist offers the treatment you need. Restore your sleep quality and your daily life with a solution that is right for you.
About Dr. Jay A. Nelson
Dr. Jay A. Nelson has provided exceptional dental care since 1981. In addition to promoting the health of the teeth and gums, he also treats areas of specialty, like sleep apnea. If you have been diagnosed with the condition, he offers the solutions you need to sleep soundly. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation.