Sleep Apnoea is a condition that is all too common. In fact, many people suffer from it and don’t even know it! As the tongue and soft palette slide to the back of the throat, they can obstruct breathing. In some people, this can happen multiple times per hour. When it does happen the brain sends a signal that releases adrenalin and kick-starts the heart and the muscles to struggle for air. The person rouses from sleep and the obstruction is cleared until it happens again.
When a person suffers from Sleep Apnoea, it means they are just not getting the sleep they need. They may feel completely exhausted during daylight hours, find it hard to focus and concentrate, and become moody and irritable.
Is Your Sleep Apnoea Related To Your Jaw?
The Temporomandibular Joint (or TMJ for short) connects the lower jaw to the side of the head. When a person has a misaligned bite, this can place undue pressure on the TMJ and the associated muscles around it. For many people, one of the first signs that something is wrong with the TMJ is when they experience frequent headaches or pain around the lower jaw and the side of the head. So, how can a bite that is misaligned and TMJ pain and discomfort result in sleep apnoea?
The position of the TMJ is related directly to where the teeth bite together. The resting position of the tongue is also determined by the position of the jaw. In a person with a misaligned bite, the tongue may be resting far enough back in the mouth that it can more easily slide backwards to obstruct breathing during sleep. In this way, TMJ problems are related to many cases of sleep apnoea.
Treating Your Sleep Apnoea
The good news is that sleep apnoea is treatable. One of the most common and effective treatments is through the use of a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD). When it is worn correctly, it helps to prevent the lower jaw, soft palette, and tongue from sliding back and obstructing the airway. Potentially, this means a better night of sleep for everyone!
Book an appointment at Bachmayer Orthodontics to discuss how orthodontic treatment could help you.