TMJ and Sleep Apnea (OSA) share a relationship especially with respect to the facial muscles, central nervous system, and soft tissue of the head and neck. These can cause a wide range of symptoms from migraine headaches to facial pain. Both are diseases of craniofacial anatomy and craniofacial distortions. In fact, medicine identifies OSA patients as obese or craniofacial abnormalities.
This means there is a need for TMJ dentists and dentists to recognize and learn to treat these as they are often coexist and affect patients overall well-being and health. Proper evaluation and screening helps to reveal these situations when they occur together and allow for proper concurrent treatment. These treatments can sometimes involve wearing a different daytime and nighttime appliance, the nighttime appliance being utilize to control the sleep apnea.
Treating TMD concurrently with OSA is a needed health service and an understanding of both is essential to providing the best care for patients.