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tmj and sleep apnea

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airandsleepwanted +0 points · almost 8 years ago Original Poster

Hi ! I would like some recommendations on which mask would be best for tmj and sleep apnea ? I had tmj problems that lead to severe sleep apnea problems. 3 months ago, the nasal pillows were prescribed to me. They irritated me by the end of the sleep cycle and leave burning sensation. I also have a very dry mouth thru the night. Recommendation was made to try full mask, but the lower straps hurt the jaw. Is anyone out there having both tmj and osa ? Which mask are you using and would you recommend it ? I appreciate any response. Thanks Jenn

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DrTonySoileau +0 points · almost 8 years ago

Its possible that your sleep apnea is actually responsible for your TMJ symptoms. I see this a lot in my practice. The sleep apnea or choking events causes your cortisol to spike. This leads to a lot of hormonal events. One of them is rapid breathing instead of diaphramatic or belly breathing. When you breath rapidly you breath with your chest instead of your belly. This chest breathing causes you to lift your shoulders while breathing. In order to do this you must tighten your neck muscles and in turn the muscles involved in TMJ symptoms. By treating your sleep apnea you may actually be treating the true cause of your TMJ. It happens a lot in my practice. Once the sleep apnea is controlled years of TMJ symptoms begin to fade away. But keep in mind often the damage to the muscles is already done and they must be treated as well for complete relief. When your muscles stay contracted they eventually develop trigger points. These are little knots in the muscle fibers. They can be very tender and refer pain to other muscles. So the muscle hurting may not be the source of the problem. Once the knots develop they have to be manually rubbed out by massage therapy, acupressure, or acupuncture. Once the knot is released the muscle must be stretched to release any lactic acid buildup in the muscle. This why you need to drink lots of water after a deep tissue massage. So the long term answer to your TMJ problem may be a series of deep tissue massage including the pterygoid muscles located inside the mouth towards the top and back. Once these knots are removed and the sleep apnea is controlled your cortisol levels will drop and you should sleep like a baby.

Dr Tony Soileau

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