Sleep & TMJ Therapy
Dr. Brown is a graduate of Georgetown Dental School and an international speaker for TMD. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain and holds memberships with many academies. His extensive knowledge in the combined fields of TMJ, sleep and orthodontics gives him a unique perspective.
Q: What is the connection between sleep apnea and TMJ disorder?
A: Simply put, jaw placement/alignment. Recent studies show that more than half of patients who suffer from TMJ also have trouble sleeping. And about half of patients with sleep apnea also experience jaw pain. Not only is there a proven correlation, but one can exacerbate the other.
For instance, when an airway collapses, like with obstructive sleep apnea, the body responds by pushing the jaw forward to open it. The repeated back-and-forth motion throughout the night causes tension in the jaw joint. A misaligned jaw could also prevent an airway from staying open during sleep.
Q: Why do you do what you do? What motivates and inspires you?
A: I love helping my patients get their lives back. Chronic pain can drastically affect one’s personality and cause a severe loss in quality of life. Every day, we see patients who feel hopeless, have been in pain for years, and have seen doctor after doctor but are still searching for answers. Our work can transform patients’ lives by providing alternative solutions to those who have long-term pain from slipped discs in the jaw joint and cranial distortions.
Q: What makes your patient experience unique?
A: We take “concierge” customer service to a new level, ensuring our patients’ individualized needs are met with compassionate care. TMD and sleep apnea affect the whole body. We value teamwork and often confer with other specialists to help uncover the root of a patient’s symptoms so we can find the underlying cause.