Unraveling the Mysteries of TMJ Disorder

Jaw Popping, Clicking, and Sleepless Nights

Have you ever experienced jaw popping and clicking sounds? Do you find it difficult to sleep at night? These issues could be signs of an inter-related issue with your temporomandibular joints called TMJ disorder, temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJD and apnea caused by a small airway.

Understanding TMJ Disorder

Dr. Mike Morris explains that TMJ disorder is a condition that affects your temporomandibular joints, which connect your jawbone to your skull.

This disorder can cause a variety of symptoms, including jaw pain, stiffness, and difficulty in opening or closing your mouth.

One common symptom is jaw popping or clicking sounds, often accompanied by pain or discomfort.  These sounds are pathological movement and dislocating of the discs of cartilage that look like donuts and that sit on the top of the jaw, cushioning between the jaw and skull.  Stretching of the ligaments that hold these discs in place caused by dysfunction can cause the discs to slip, and thus the popping and clicking sounds.

Exact causes of TMJ disorder are often multi-factorial and can include teeth grinding (bruxism) that can be caused by an airway challenge, jaw and/or tooth misalignment, arthritis or trauma to the jaws.

TMJ Disorder Sleep and Airway Correlation

According to Burlington bioesthetic dentist, Dr. Mike Morris, TMJ disorder can be related to your sleep.

When your airway closes off or collapses, this causes a movement disorder known as bruxism, commonly referred to as clenching and grinding.  This is your body’s response to not being able to breathe.

This can damage your TMJs and your teeth: The resulting damage can cause discomfort, pain, and clicking sounds in your jaws that can make it challenging to relax and fall asleep.

In some cases, the pain may even wake you up during the night, leading to further sleep related pathology such as insomnia or disrupted sleep cycles.

Additionally, TMJ disorder-related symptoms can increase stress levels, further degrading the quality of your sleep. Moreover, the clenching and tooth grinding during sleep can also lead to damage tooth damage and oral problems.

Dr. Mike Morris: Airway Focused Bioesthetic Dentist

If you are experiencing TMJD symptoms and are struggling with poor quality sleep, seeking help is essential.

Dr. Mike Morris is an expert in diagnosing and treating TMJ disorder. He specializes in bioesthetic dentistry. This is an approach that focuses on optimizing the function and aesthetics of the chewing system.  Dr. Mike is also highly trained in airway related care.

Bioesthetic dentistry looks beyond just the teeth and jaw joints, considering the relationship. The relationship between the airway, jaws, muscles/ligaments/tendons, nerves and teeth to create a balanced and harmonious bite.

Dr. Mike Morris will conduct a thorough examination, including evaluating your airway, jaw joint function, tooth alignment, muscles and overall oral health.

Based on the diagnosis, he will create a personalized treatment plan, which may include occlusal splints, orthodontics, or other modalities within an interdisciplinary team to alleviate your TMJ disorder symptoms and promote better sleep.

Don’t Lose another Night’s Sleep

Seeking professional help from experts like Dr. Mike Morris at Chittenden Dental can help. Firstly you find relief from TMJ disorder symptoms. Secondly you improve your quality of life.

Keep in mind that TMJ disorder can cause jaw popping, clicking, pain, inability to eat or speak normally and sleep disturbances; impacting your overall well-being.

Don’t let jaw pain and sleepless nights hold you back and schedule a TMJ/airway consultation with a bioesthetic dentist in Burlington today.


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