What Is TMJ?
TMJ is a common shorthand for tempormandibular joint disorders, also called temporomandibular disorders. Among dentists and researchers, we also use the abbreviation TMD.
There are many different forms of this condition, but the three most widely recognized forms are:
- Muscle disorders
- Jaw displacement
- Joint degradation
You can experience all three at the same time, but most people have symptoms related to the muscle disorder. This can lead to common symptoms in the jaw, the head and beyond.
Common TMJ symptoms include:
- Jaw pain
- Irregular jaw motion
- Locked jaw
- Chipped, worn, or broken teeth
- Ear pain
- Ringing in the ear
- Ear fullness
- Neck pain
There are many more symptoms people can experience, and almost no two people experience the same set of symptoms.
Fortunately, thanks to modern treatments, we can resolve these symptoms without drugs and without surgery.
What Is Sleep Apnea?
In sleep apnea, your breathing stops for a significant period during sleep. In order to resume breathing, your brain has to wake up slightly. Although this might be happening hundreds of times a night, you might not be aware of it because it’s happening while you sleep. In fact, studies estimate that 80-90% of sleep apnea sufferers don’t know they have the condition. However, your partner might notice: snoring is very common among people with sleep apnea.
All you notice are the daytime effects of the condition:
- Waking unrested, no matter how long you sleep
- Morning headaches
- Daytime sleepiness
- Falling asleep at work, driving, or in front of the TV
- Lack of energy or interest
- Depression, irritability, or other mood problems
Of course, these are only the most visible effects of sleep apnea. Because you aren’t getting enough slee