Due to its anatomy and proximity to each other – certain disorders and conditions of the mouth, neck, head and face or the craniofacial are interrelated with each other. In view of this, there are findings that sleep disorders and craniofacial pain have a connection.
What is Craniofacial Pain
Craniofacial pain is that persistent pain in the head, face, and neck. And the most prevalent form of craniofacial pain is Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ or TMJD). The temporomandibular joint is the joint in the jaw situated in front of our ears.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder is characterized by recurring earaches and infections, headaches, dizziness, lockjaw, the painful snapping of the jaw joints, pain in the back and neck, discomfort in chewing and frequent unexplained ache in the head, eyes, teeth and ears.
Sleep disorders are irregular or abnormal sleeping patterns and behavior which unexpectedly can affect one’s health. And the most common are snoring and sleep apnea.
Snoring is a common cause that affects anyone and everyone. It happens when there is an obstruction of air through the nose and mouth and causes loud and strange sounds while sleeping. Usually, it is caused by obesity, allergies, nasal congestion, smoking, aging, alcohol or just mere exhaustion. It can be taken lightly if it happens occasionally.
In sleep apnea, a person’s breathing is disrupted while sleeping. And a person stops breathing not only once but a number of times. And that is alarming because the heart, brain and the rest of the body undergo an insufficient supply of oxygen.
Ways to Manage it
Favorably, there are various ways to manage these aforementioned conditions. There are clinics or institutions that have an array of doctors that offer therapy for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) and other craniofacial pain. There are a lot of factors that bring about these said disorders and foremost to them is to identify the underlying cause so that proper treatment will be given to avoid recurrence.
These doctors offer less invasive, non-surgical and structured therapies for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) and for obstructive sleep apnea. They work hand in hand with therapists in creating individualized and extensive programs that would relieve their patient from pain and discomfort and enjoy a soothing and comfortable life instead.