All Press Releases for December 08, 2008

Sleep And TMJ Disorders Linkage is the Key to Effective Treatment. Suffer No More! Article in Sleep and Health Journal is Essential Reading for all TMD Patients

Quality of Life is key to successful TMJ treatment. Effective treatment of TMJ/TMD disorders mandates understanding and consideration of sleep disorders. NHLBI considers sleep apnea to be a TMJ disorder.

    GURNEE, IL, December 08, 2008 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) considers sleep apnea to be a TMJ disorder. TMJ problems are often called the Great Imposter because the symptoms mimic many other problems. Patients who wake with morning headaches, dry mouths or who just never feeling well rested should read "SUFFER NO MORE: DEALING WITH THE GREAT IMPOSTOR" in Sleep and Health Journal. Sleep and Health Journal is the only medical journal that covers all aspects of sleep and is specifically directed to patients. "Suffer No More" can be found at:

Fibromyalgia, headaches, sinus pain, jaw pain, migraines, and ear aches and are just a few of the more common symptoms of TMJ disorders. The NHLBI has a excellent report that is a must read for every patient with TMJ/TMD disorders or who has symptoms of daytime sleepiness. The report "CARDIOVASCULAR AND SLEEP-RELATED CONSEQUENCES OF TEMPOROMANDIBULAR DISORDERS" can be found at the NHLBI site at: According to the NHLBI "Reproductive age, female gender and to some extent trauma are the major risk factors for TMD" and "there are reasons to suspect that TMD patients are at greater risk for cardiovascular diseases. Many patients exhibit sleep dysfunction associated with persistent pain and inability to sleep on their side, but sleeping supine increases the risk for sleep disordered breathing. The effects of acute and persistent pain upon autonomic and motor control of these systems would be expected to impose further cardiovascular risk to these patients based upon what is already known about the effects of sleep disordered breathing."

According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute TMJ disorders effect the autonomic nervous system and are intimately related with nocturnal breathing as well as daytime coughing and choking. Many patients feel as if there is a foreign object in their throats or they complain of frequent sinus pressure and/or pain but examination does not reveal any signs of infection. The entire report from the NIH (National Institute of Health is available at:

The NHLBI report states "There appears to an associated increase in coughing in subjects with sleep apnea. Occlusion of
the pharynx can force residual secretions into the glottis and trigger coughing reflexes, swallowing reflexes, and other reflexes that could contribute to the disorganization of breathing during sleep. In addition to the muscles of mastication, the tongue plays an important role in the coordinated events of swallowing and breathing. The integration of breathing and swallowing is tightly linked, and these events in turn are in some manner linked to blood pressure regulation. Each of these pathways has been studied by scientists in individual disciplines, but there is a need for interdisciplinary studies to determine the interactions of the peripheral and central neural pathways controlling breathing, chewing, swallowing, and cardiovascular events. The presence of pain in patients with TMD would be expected to seriously impact upon these reflex and motor pathways. Little is known about the role of tongue position and how this may be altered in subjects with altered jaw location and structure. Sleep state has been shown to alter the central modulation of the coordination of breathing, airway dynamics, swallowing, and associated cardiovascular events. Differences in central modulation of these events in subjects with sleep apnea and TMD need to be evaluated using sleep as a dynamic change in the state of the individual. Cardiovascular, neuroendocrine, respiratory and swallowing alterations in awake and sleeping subjects need to be studied in a systematic manner in both in animal models and human subjects."

The reason TMJ disorders have been dubbed the great imposter is because most patients suffer long term problems and numerous physician visits without relief. The patients seek symptomatic relief of the symptoms but often are never properly diagnosed. Neuromuscular Dentistry is often the key to proper diagnosis and treatment of TMJ disorders. Information on Neuromuscular Dentistry is available at . This web address will soon have a directory of neuromuscular dentists across the U.S.

The best Neuromuscular dentists belong to ICCMO, the International College of CranioMandibular Orthopedics. This group was founded by Dr Barney Jankelson or Dr J the father of Neuromuscular Dentistry. Their website is and they have an extensive directory of neuromuscular dentists on their site.

Dr Shapira a Chicago, Illinois dentist with 30 years experience in treating TMJ and Sleep disorders has created the premiere site for information on treatment alternatives for sleep apnea and snoring. He is currently working on an extensive new site highlighting Neuromuscular Dentistry that will be at That address currently leads to information on neuromuscular dentistry at his dental site. He is best known for his website that has a directory of sleep apnea dentists who treat snoring and apnea with intraoral appliances.

Dr Shapira treats TMJ and Sleep disorders at his Gurnee, Illinois office in Lake County. Patients wishing to contact Dr Shapira can call toll free at 1-800-TM-Joint or at 1-8-NO-PAP-MASK.

Dr Ira L Shapira is an author and section editor of Sleep and Health, President of I HATE CPAP LLC, President Dato-TECH, and has a Dental Practice with his partner Dr Mark Amidei. He has recently formed Chicagoland Dental Sleep Medicine Associates. He is a Regent of ICCMO and its representative to the TMD Alliance, He was a founding and certified member of the Sleep Disorder Dental Society which became the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, A founding member of DOSA the Dental Organization for Sleep Apnea. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, A Diplomat of the American Academy of Pain Management, a graduate of LVI. He is a former assistant professor at Rush Medical Schools Sleep Service where he worked with Dr Rosalind Cartwright who is a founder of Sleep Medicine and Dental Sleep Medicine. Dr Shapira is a consultant to numerous sleep centers and teaches courses in Dental Sleep Medicine in his office to doctors from around the U.S. He is the Founder of I HATE CPAP LLC and Dr Shapira also holds several patents on methods and devices for the prophylactic minimally invasive early removal of wisdom teeth and collection of bone marrow and stem cells. Dr Shapira is a licensed general dentist in Illinois and Wisconsin.

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Ira Shapira
Sleep and Health Journal
Gurnee, Illinois
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