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aching teeth and jaws
#1
Hi; I'm a long time lurker finally peeking in from the shadows to ask a question. I hope it's not too weird, I'm not sure how to describe my problem clearly.

I was diagnosed with severe apnea last May and have successfully been using bipap (Resmed w/ a humidifier) ever since. The only problem I continually have--but haven't asked my resp. therapist yet; yes, I'm a bad girl--is that regardless of what mask I've tried, I keep getting up in the morning with aching teeth and sometimes an aching jaw. I never had a problem with this before being on bipap, and I don't think I'm clenching my teeth the 'regular' way, like from stress or something.

I think the problem may lay in that I have continuing problems with the headgear (the nose masks are usually too big or the headgear can't be shortened so it rubs my ears, etc.) I'm using the Swift nose pillow now, and that works great, but all along, throughout my trials with all the masks, it seems like when I sleep, I clench my teeth involuntarily to -- and this is where it gets hard to explain -- sort of prop my head or jaw in a way so the headgear stays in place. I think I have a weird shaped head; the straps in back fit fine when I'm sitting up, but when I lay down the straps just ride straight up and off the top of my head if I don't get them placed just right. If I tighten them, it pulls the nose piece too close and I can't breathe right. So I think I'm tightening my jaw out of whack and jamming my teeth together to keep myself in position. I'm not aware I'm doing it; I try very hard to keep my jaw relaxed and loose as I fall asleep.

I will be calling my doctor's office about it sooner or later; I was just wondering if this happens to anyone or if anyone already knows a solution.

Thanks for all the help (especially for all the help I've been too much of a shybaby to come out of hiding to acknowledge these last few months).
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#2
Perhaps seeing a dentist may do you some good? They can see and tell if you are only clenching, and/or grinding, and guide you to a good mouth guard to wear at night? I've not had this issue, so am only guessing here - but better sooner - before a bad problem might start?
*I* am not a DOCTOR or any type of Health Care Professional.  My thoughts/suggestions/ideas are strictly only my opinions.

"Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you. Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your Soul, the other for your Freedom."
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#3
Well, I seem to be in the same boat - I also have aching teeth from grinding and moving my jaw forward at night - I keep meaning to go see a prosthetic dentist to have a mouth guard made that keeps me from doing any real harm to my choppers (the pain, btw is the ligaments getting all strained and moved about) but somehow I keep putting it off. Now you have made me pick up the phone to call my guy in Konstanz (Swiss dentistry is way too expensive - we all go over the border to get stuff done...)

So, my friend, you are not alone at all in this, and I am pretty sure this is far more common than you may think.
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#4
I noticed this with the Swift FX pillows after using the wisp. I have no idea what it is but my jaw felt a little awkward after using the swift FX, like I was clenching my jaw more with that mask. NO idea why, perhaps the way it rests below the nose? It's not a major issue for me but I am cognizant of it.

I don't have a solution for you, just the top strap will pinch the pillows together more and the back will adjust the angle of the pillows. I usually wiggle the mask around in my nostrils and adjust every night, it's just the downside of having a light mask I guess.

I thought a sleep study will tell you if you have any clenching or teeth grinding problems? I remember the tech attaching something right at my lower jaw. He told me this is to see if I grind my teeth. Maybe they don't do that for every sleep study?





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#5
I'm new to this CPAP stuff too (just diagnosed in December and currently in my second week of a four week trial on a ResMed), but I wanted to weigh in on this one as I'm a clencher, but for me it's not related to the Apnea or treatment.

I was diagnosed as clenching/grinding my teeth over 25 years ago. My first indication was tooth sensitivity - the dentist found that the tooth was fine, but noticed some wear on my teeth, so attributed it to that. I didn't get a bite plane until many years later. I have since had 2 broken teeth, 1 tooth with a fracture and thus 3 root canals and crowns. I think it all can be attributed to the clenching/grinding. And possibly could have been avoided if I had gotten the bite plane earlier.

Thus, for anyone suffering tooth or jaw pain, I would recommend that you get it checked out immediately to avoid doing any more damage to your teeth that may lead to breaks, root canals and crowns. Not fun and expensive - even with insurance.
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#6
Hi Bigdeezer,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I don't have this problem but hopefully, you can get this straightened out before you have too much damage to your teeth and jaws.
Hang in there for more suggestions and don't be shy about asking questions.
Best of luck to you.
trish6hundred
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#7
I'm in the jaw pain, clenching, grinding boat too.

My dentist made me a bite guard. It works ok and should prevent further damage. But, I did recently see an orthodontist (that specializes in TMJ issues) about fixing the problem. He recommended a 13mm flat plane splint on the lower and a clear aligner for the upper to let the joint heal up over the next 3-6 months. He said it will let my jaw relax and move into it's natural position before we move teeth to fix the whole problem; and possibly getting rid of or reduced my OSA. (My lower teeth are being crowded and pushing the lower jaw back probably from clenching) It's currently being made so I don't know if it will work, but I'm hopeful that I get on the right track.
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#8
Hi nozzelnut,
Good luck with the bite guard and getting the TMJ straightened out.
Also, WELCOME! to the forum.!
trish6hundred
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