TMJ & Sleep Disorder Symptoms

    For Patients

    Understanding TMJ & Sleep Disorder Symptoms

    At the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of New Orleans, we believe that knowledge is a crucial step toward improving your health and quality of life. We want to help you recognize the symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disorders and sleep-related conditions so you can seek timely and effective treatment. Below, we outline common symptoms associated with these disorders.

    Common Symptoms of TMJ Disorders:

    • Jaw Pain: Pain or discomfort in the jaw joint or surrounding areas is a hallmark of TMJ disorders. This pain may be occasional or chronic.
    • Headaches: Frequent tension headaches and migraines, often accompanied by jaw pain, can be indicative of a TMJ issue.
    • Jaw Clicking or Popping: Audible clicking, popping, or grinding sounds when you open and close your mouth may suggest TMJ problems.
    • Limited Jaw Mobility: Difficulty or discomfort when opening your mouth wide or when trying to chew certain foods can be a sign of a TMJ disorder.
    • Ear Pain: Unexplained earaches or a feeling of fullness in the ears may be linked to TMJ dysfunction.
    • Facial Pain: Discomfort or pain in the face, especially near the temples, may be related to TMJ issues.

      Common Symptoms of Sleep Disorders:

      • Excessive Daytime Fatigue: Feeling constantly tired during the day, even after what should have been a full night’s sleep, is a significant symptom of sleep disorders.
      • Loud Snoring: Frequent, loud snoring can indicate sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder.
      • Witnessed Pauses in Breathing: If someone observes that you stop breathing temporarily during your sleep, it may be a sign of sleep apnea.
      • Morning Headaches: Waking up with frequent headaches, especially in the morning, can be linked to sleep disorders.
      • Difficulty Staying Asleep: Waking up multiple times during the night and struggling to fall back asleep is characteristic of sleep disturbances.
      • Irritability and Mood Changes: Sleep disorders can lead to mood swings, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.

        Recognizing these symptoms is the first step toward finding relief and improving your overall health and well-being. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, we encourage you to seek professional evaluation and treatment. Our expert team at the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of New Orleans is here to provide you with the specialized care and support you need. Don’t let these symptoms compromise your quality of life; contact us to schedule an evaluation and take a step toward a healthier, more restful future.

        TMJ Jaw Clenching

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        about the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of New Orleans

        Very Rev. Philip G. Landry

        5.0 ★★★★★

        Having been diagnosed with sleep apnea in 2003, I was fitted for a head-gear breathing apparatus to alleviate the condition. After struggling with discomfort and lack of sleep, I discontinued use of the device. During a visit to my cardiologist in 2017, I was ordered to take another sleep test which revealed that the condition had reached a dangerous level and that it must be addressed immediately. I shared with Dr. G. Johnson my concerns from the past and he informed me that a new mouth piece for this sleep disorder was available and referred me to Dr. Terry Billings, DDS.

        I contacted Dr. Billings and during my first appointment with him, after a series of tests, he determined that I had another condition, TMJ, which would have to be treated before addressing the sleep disorder. He explained to me that I would have to wear mouthpieces, one by day and one by night, for twelve weeks to correct this issue. My instant reaction was that as a Catholic priest serving as the rector of the St. Louis Cathedral, I often celebrate televised Masses during which a mouthpiece would certainly be a deterrent. Dr. Billings patiently and understandingly explained that I really had no option but assured me that he would be able to make weekly adjustments to the mouthpieces that would help with these concerns.

        Now as I approach the final weeks of this treatment, I am pleased to share that I have been most satisfied with the care and attention of both Dr. Billings and his staff. The level of professionalism and proficiency which I have experienced in the weekly office visits have made a challenging issue bearable. It is amazing to me what the treatment of the TMJ has done for my overall health and well-being and as I now await the mouthpiece to address my sleep disorder I am most grateful to Dr. Billings for his diagnosis and excellent treatment during this period of preparation for it.

        Arden Ballard, PA-C, MS

        5.0 ★★★★★

        You don’t hear that often about a dentist, but his attention to detail, meticulous examination and in-office testing led to uncovering a severely deviated septum that needed prompt surgical intervention. I’m forever grateful for him and his entire staff.

        Dr. Billings noticed that I checked yes to a few items on his questionnaire. When he began asking about my fatigue, sluggish feeling, etc. I blamed it on the kids and being a parent of two young boys. After his dental exam, he insisted that there could be more to my symptoms. After a chat, we decided to do an in-office Facial CT scan. It’s been 4 years since I had one, so I agreed. Everything was promptly scheduled, and their text reminders kept me on schedule.

        I did the CT scan, and Dr. Billings pointed out my severely deviated septum and recommended I get a prompt ENT evaluation. I brought a printout of the CT to my next appointment, and I ended up having sinus surgery 3 weeks later.

        Immediately after surgery, I knew something was different. After healing, I was sleeping better, breathing better and, sure enough, less sluggish and not reaching for my 3pm coffee. All from going to the dentist.

        My teeth look great, too!

        Dr. Billings has opened my eyes to understand that dentists are part of the entire medical team, and when using their training to the fullest, they can change lives.