Sleep disorders affect nearly 40 million Americans every year and nearly 20 million experience occasional sleeping problems. If you’ve ever snored on a nightly basis or got a terrible night of sleep, you know first-hand how sleep can affect your entire body. Without proper sleep, you lack energy, concentration, and overall feel moody. With consistent poor sleep, you can also increase your risk of heart disease and other serious complications. At Smile on Dental Studio in Richmond Heights, MO, we want to help our patients achieve their best quality of life possible. To do so, we look at the entire body and how one problem may cause others. For instance, a misaligned jaw might be contributing to your snoring habit.
How a Misaligned Jaw Affects Your Airway
If you visit a doctor about your snoring habit, it’s unlikely they’re going to evaluate your airway or temporomandibular joint. When you visit our St. Louis sleep dentist, we consider your entire body when prescribing a sleep disorder treatment.
Many people who suffer from various types of sleep disorders also have a problem that relates to their temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that attaches your lower jaw to your skill. It’s supported by your facial muscles and is what allows you to swallow, yawn, or chew.
When the alignment of the temporomandibular joint is off, it can impact the tongue’s position when you sleep. This can cause the tongue to block the airway and cause you to either snore or have sleep apnea.
How to Treat TMJ and Sleep Apnea and Snoring at the Same Time
If your sleep apnea or snoring is caused by a misaligned jaw, to treat the sleep apnea and snoring, we must treat your misaligned jaw. Our sleep dentists will determine your TMJ’s correct position and use TMJ treatment to help it get to this correct position. Usually, this involves wearing an orthotic or oral appliance at night in addition to orthodontic treatment. These treatment options will help push your lower jaw forward to bring your tongue into its correct position. Once we can correct your misaligned jaw, it’s likely your sleep apnea or snoring symptoms will go away.
Not all patients are the same though. Our St. Louis sleep apnea dentist will create an individualized plan to resolve your sleep apnea or snoring symptoms. If you suspect TMJ is the cause of your sleep apnea or snoring symptoms, please contact Smile On Dental Studio for a consultation today by calling (314) 678-7876.