The Link Between Airways and Temporomandibular Joints

Temporomandibular joint disorder, commonly known as TMJ disorder, is a condition that affects millions of people all over the globe. Chittenden Dental explains that in addition, some aren’t even aware the temporomandibular joints are affected.

Understanding the Temporomandibular Joints (TMJ)

The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are complex hinge joints connecting the jawbone to the skull. They allow us to perform essential functions like chewing, speaking, and facial expressions. Moreover, the TMJ’s smooth functioning is vital for maintaining proper dental health and overall well-being.

The Link Between Airways and Temporomandibular Joints

Research has shown that there is a significant link between the airway and the temporomandibular joints.

Firstly, the upper airway is positioned just at and below the TMJ. Secondly, if there are any disturbances in the airway it can directly impact the jaw’s function and alignment.

For instance, conditions like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or chronic snoring can affect the airways and trigger TMJ-related issues due to the bruxism (clenching and grinding) caused by the struggled breathing.  Furthermore, the breathing challenges caused by airway collapse causes the grinding and clenching we can experience at night.

TMJ Disorder

TMJ disorder is a broad term used to describe a range of problems related to the temporomandibular joints.

Common symptoms include, but are not limited to: jaw pain, clicking or popping sounds in the ears, headaches, neck pain, earaches, limited jaw movement and more.

This disorder can be caused by various factors, including teeth grinding (bruxism), arthritis, or trauma/injuries to the jaw.

Burlington Bioesthetic Dentistry

Dr. Mike Morris specializes in a comprehensive approach to dental care that considers the overall harmony between the airway, teeth, jaw joints, and nerves/muscles. Your bioesthetic dentist in Burlington recognizes the significance of the airway-TMJ connection and its impact on dental health.

Bioesthetic dentistry focuses on achieving optimal function and aesthetics. It does this by addressing the underlying causes of dental issues and also TMJ disorder and airway challenges.

Dentists like Dr. Mike analyze the patient’s bite, jaw alignment, and muscular function to create customized treatment plans that not only alleviate TMJ-related symptoms, but also promote long-term oral health and ideal aesthetics.

Managing TMJ Disorder

Dr. Morris uses various techniques to manage TMJ disorder effectively. One common approach involves the use of dental orthotics to stabilize the jaw/bite relationship and to alleviate pressure on the jaw joints. These devices are designed to allow normal repositioning of your jaw, improving its alignment, function with your bite and reducing discomfort.

In cases where teeth grinding contribute to the TMJ disorder, bioesthetic dentists may recommend dental restorations. Restorations restore tooth wear and improve your bite.

Help for TMJ Disorder in Burlington

Understanding the connection between airways and temporomandibular joints sheds light on the complexity of the body and its interconnected systems.

TMJ disorder can also significantly impact dental health and overall well-being. The holistic approach offered by Chittenden Dental proves invaluable in effectively managing TMJ-related issues.

By addressing the root causes and promoting optimal function, bioesthetic dentistry provides patients with lasting relief and improved oral health.

If you experience any symptoms of TMJ disorder, seeking professional evaluation and treatment from a bioesthetic dentist may pave the way to a healthier, pain-free smile.

Call and schedule your appointment for a consultation with Chittenden Dental today.


Our purpose is to listen to our patients, so together, we can achieve ideal outcomes. We will provide care in a comfortable environment, which supports lifelong friendships.

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258 Pearl Street, Burlington, VT 05401