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TMJ Pain Caused by Sleep Disorders or Sleep Apnea?

It is estimated that as many as 30% of the population has some form of temperomandibular joint disorder. This is commonly referred to as TMJ. TMJ disorders affect the jaw joint including the ligaments and joint capsule, and the muscles that support the jaw and the head and neck. Oftentimes there is a history of trauma associated with the TMJ disorders, but new research is showing that there is a strong correlation between those that have sleep disorders and having a TMJ disorder. It has been found that 40% of “TMJ” patients have one or more sleep disorders. It has become incumbent for a dentist evaluating a patient for a TMJ problem to screen for sleep disorders and to make an appropriate referral to their physician or a sleep specialist for evalutation.

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