TMJ (Temporo-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction)

Wearing a Sleep Apnea Appliance 

Won't Impair TMJ


It is estimated that more than 34 million Americans suffer from temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD). This means that there is a high percentage of sleep apnea patients who also have TMJD. The majority of people with TMJD are unaware that they have a problem until they experience an acute episode of jaw pain or until the deterioration of the joint gets to the point where they body is unable to cope with the dysfunction on a subconscious level and it becomes a chroinc pain problem.

TMJD may cause pain in any part of the head and neck and can cause referred pain to occur in any other part of the body. You may have TMJD if you have ever been involved in some kind of trauma (auto accident, falling off a bike, slipping on ice, falling down stairs, falling while skiing or snowboarding, ect...), if your jaw clicks and pops on opening and/or closing, if you have frequent headaches, if you run into things or drop things often and/or if the muscles of your head and neck are sore.


No, use of an oral appliance will not cause impairment to the TMJ*. However, since the oral appliance works by holding the mandible forward, it is very important to evaluate the TMJ at the initial consultation to determine if the jaw joints will comfortably allow for the forward movement needed for successful treatment. Regardless of whether TMJD is present or not, all patients are instructed on how to sleep properly, how to insert the appliance properly and how to reset the bite in the morning to maintain comfort and avoid any problems.

*Sleep Breath 2009 Nov;13(4):375-81

Questions or concerns about wearing a sleep apnea oral appliance with TMJ? Contact Us for more information!