TMJ dysfunction and sleep disorders are two of the most common medical problems in the US and globally. 44 million Americans suffer from TMJ pain, and over 40 million have some kind of sleep disorder. Many people suffer from both. Here are some reasons why.
TMJ Dysfunction and Sleep Apnea
TMJ problems may be related to a misaligned jaw. This can result in an obstructed airway while a person sleeps. The outcome is snoring and potential stoppages of breathing during the night. At this point, sleep apnea prevents a person from getting into deeper stages of sleep.
TMJ Pain Resulting from Teeth Grinding
Whether while awake or asleep, grinding one’s teeth (bruxism) can damage the teeth and affect jaw alignment. The tension from the grinding can also result in wear and tear on the jaw joints. A person may wake up with a sore jaw if bruxism occurs at night.
Headaches and TMJ Dysfunction
TMJ pain sufferers also frequently experience headaches. The pain radiates from the jaw up into the head and down into the neck. If a person is hearing an abnormal sound during jaw movement, experiencing a reduced range of jaw movement or painful jaw movement, or has a forward head posture, a TMJ problem is likely connected to the head and neck pain.
TMJ Relief Through Proper Neck Alignment
The fact is that even a slight misalignment of the C1 and C2 vertebrae can throw the jaw out of alignment. This explains why TMJ problems are frequently associated with a forward head position, neck pain, and headaches. Correcting the misalignment may be the first step toward relieving jaw pain.
Upper cervical chiropractic involves a gentle correction targeting the top two bones of the spine. When these bones are properly positioned, the body can restore the jaw and other affected bones, muscles, and soft tissue to a normal position. The result is improved overall health and wellbeing as everything from proper brainstem function to blood flow to the head is affected by the position of these two vertebrae. To learn more, contact an upper cervical chiropractor near you.