I've taken to 'papping fairly well, but after a few days I started to notice some jaw discomfort. At first I had the impression that I was projecting my lower jaw forward and down while asleep. The result was a sore jaw (TMJ pain). The last couple of nights I noticed that my front teeth, top and bottom, were sore and my bite seemed to have changed. I think that means I am clenching my teeth. I might be doing both. It has even started to bother me in the daytime. My assumption is that this is a reaction to the air flow or pressure from the CPAP.
I am interested to hear if this has happened to anyone else, if it went away, or if there is some way to lessen this effect. I think I will talk to my dentist about a bite guard. I used one 20 years ago when I ground my teeth my sleep. If I am holding my jaw open, would a chin strap help? Or would it make it worse? I am not holding my mouth open and my tongue is firmly stuck to the roof of my mouth where it spends most of its life.
Hey Chill, welcome to the forum.
I also experienced something similar while being a new CPAPer. I think subconsciously I was clenching during the night and woke up with sore jaws/teeth. I suffered through a week or so of nights wearing a cheapo Walmart night guard and then just decided to stop. I have not had the problem since, although I cannot be sure that using the night guard was actually what fixed it, or did it just stop on it's own? I'll never know. Just glad it doesn't happen anymore!
Good luck resolving your issue. Keep us posted!
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04-03-2016, 08:19 AM
(This post was last modified: 04-03-2016, 08:20 AM by green wings.)
Hi Chuck. I got my CPAP machine in December but didn't start using it regularly until February due to one problem or another. I started out at 7.0 cm and am now at 9.0 cm.
I did definitely notice some pain in my teeth and jaw at first. I was concerned that it might progress to TMJ, because I've had that problem before, but it didn't. I don't know if my initially erratic use helped me to adjust.
I would suggest making sure that your mask is no tighter than it absolutely has to be to seal. I keep mine very loose. You very likely are already doing this, but I just wanted to mention the possibility.
I read your other posts and am guessing that you may take antidepressant or other meds that can cause jaw clenching and tooth grinding. I do, and I'll sometimes notice that I am clenching my jaw when I'm wearing the CPAP mask but haven't fallen asleep yet.
If you decide to look at your data in SleepyHead, it's possible to see if you are exhaling through your mouth. My impression is that doing that may make my jaw a little painful the next morning. I can see in my data that sometimes I do it for 20-30 minutes in the middle of the night and am considering a chin strap.
I suppose my opinion is that if a person is taking meds that make them prone to jaw clenching or teeth grinding then the CPAP mask is an added irritating factor.
Even though my jaw doesn't feel like I've got inflammation going on, I definitely wake up with my jaw stiff and popping and it takes a few hours for it so get loosened up.
I imagine you know that over-the-counter anti-inflammatory meds can help.
I am hoping that my jaw eventually adjusts to the mask. I am also thinking that I am going to try nasal pillow next to see if that puts less pressure on my jaw.