Can Orthodontics Help Sleep Issues?

At some point in life, everyone will struggle with sleep problems. The CDC states that 35% of US adults get less than 7 hours of sleep each night. That means one in three adults in your network is sleep deprived. But did you know that uncorrected dental issues can contribute to sleep deprivation? Picture someone you know lying in bed, struggling to get to sleep. Suppose you knew that orthodontics could help with sleep issues. In that case, you’d tell that person to see the team at Brodsky Orthodontics in Lakewood. 

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (Lockjaw)

When people say they have lockjaw, they may use the term “TMJ” interchangeably. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. But the word for lockjaw is temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD or TMD). This joint connects your lower jaw (mandible) to the upper part of your skull. You may feel pain in this joint in your cheeks or around your ears. 

Your temporomandibular joint controls the movement of your lower jaw. The muscles around it help you talk and chew your food. The doctors may use words like “masticate” or “mastication.” Those terms refer to chewing. Pain in your TMJ makes speaking, eating, and swallowing difficult and uncomfortable. 

More Issues with TMJ

Beyond jaw pain, temporomandibular joint dysfunction causes more complications. If you take no action, that pain can creep down your jaw, neck, and shoulder. Whereas before, it hurt to chew, now it might hurt anytime you turn your head. Yikes! Who wants to put up with that? 

If you notice a clicking or popping sound when you move your jaw, that could indicate TMJD. And if all that isn’t bad enough, you may eventually develop earaches, headaches, and toothaches. Goodness! Now, your whole upper body is a giant throbbing ball of anguish! Ugh! 

Thankfully, Brodsky Orthodontics’ Lakewood team can give you the relief you need. 

Causes of Lockjaw

Lockjaw can have a variety of causes and contributing factors. Do you grind your teeth when you’re stressed? Or maybe when you’re asleep? Teeth grinding (referred to by doctors as “bruxism”) places unnecessary stress on your lower jaw, which can lead to TMJD. Some of the doctors’ patients report jaw pain when they feel stressed. If that’s you, you might be grinding your teeth without even meaning to. Other causes might include arthritis or a bad bite (malocclusion). 

If you experience any of these symptoms, make an appointment with us as soon as possible! 

Can Orthodontics Help Sleep Issues?

More Info on Sleep Apnea

Have you ever heard someone snoring? Or maybe you’ve even woken up because of your own snoring? Snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when a person’s breathing becomes irregular while asleep. Instead of a rhythmic ebb and flow, your breath moves in fits and starts. Breathing like this can prevent you from getting adequate rest. If you wake up tired, even after a total of 8 hours of sleep, you could be experiencing sleep apnea. 

Why Does Sleep Apnea Happen? 

When you sleep, your entire body relaxes. Your neck, head, jaw, and tongue will release tension. If you’re a back sleeper, you likely sleep with your mouth open. Sleeping with an open mouth constricts your throat, making it harder for you to breathe. 

What Do Bad Bites and Sleep Apnea Have in Common? 

Earlier, we talked about malocclusions. Think of malocclusions like bad bites – instances when the top and bottom parts of a jaw don’t line up the way they should. 

Some examples of malocclusions include: 

  • Crowded teeth: teeth are too close together, resulting in too little space
  • Open bite: the bottom and top rows of teeth do not overlap correctly 
  • Overbite: the top teeth reach too far beneath the bottom teeth
  • Underbite: when the mouth is closed, the lower jaw sets in front of the upper jaw
  • Crossbite: parts of the lower and upper teeth intersect

Your sleep apnea may worsen if you have a bad bite and don’t get it fixed. As we mentioned above, not getting enough sleep creates many other health issues. Fortunately, Brodsky Orthodontics in Lakewood can help you before those problems even begin! 

How Does Brodsky Orthodontics Respond? 

To maintain our well-being, we need quality sleep. Getting quality sleep requires effective breathing. And often, orthodontic techniques can improve breathing. So how might the doctors intervene for their patients? The short answer: it depends. In most cases, bad bites can be corrected with appliances like braces. But what kinds of braces might the doctors suggest? 

Miniature Metal Braces

Brodsky Orthodontics uses metal braces because they are effective. Throughout the years, these braces have earned an unfair stigma. But unlike their forebears, present-day metal braces are much more comfortable and compact. Plus, they might even shave time off of your total treatment time so you won’t have to wear them as long as some other options. 


Like conventional braces, but with a distinguished twist. While InBrace isn’t entirely invisible, it does adhere solely to the backside of the teeth. Dr. Joel or Dr. Charles install the InBrace so that your teeth will slowly straighten over time. Concerned about how it feels? Don’t be. We measure your teeth using 3D imaging technology. Your InBrace will be customized to fit you – and only you! InBrace is available for clients of any age. Plus, it might mean fewer visits to our office. 

Clear Braces

Just like the name suggests, these braces are transparent. For that reason, people might not even know you’re wearing braces. Unless, of course, you tell them! Clear braces are sometimes called ceramic. They are designed to be worn during your daily life. You can remove them for eating and drinking as needed. 

Invisalign Clear Retainers

You’ve likely heard of Invisalign. It’s a clear aligner that slides over the teeth. Similar to clear braces, they’re just about impossible for other people to notice. You’ll wear each aligner for a week, slowly moving your teeth into position.

Can Orthodontics Help Sleep Issues?

Let Us Help

Bad bites do more than make us feel awkward. They also cause physical discomfort and mental strain. Worse, bad bites keep us from getting the rest we need. Thankfully, Dr. Joel and Dr. Charles can help. 

Head over here to book your free consultation at Brodsky Orthodontics in Lakewood.