The Link Between Chronic Pain and Breathing Disorders

The Link Between Chronic Pain and Breathing Disorders

May 20, 2018

If you’re suffering from chronic pain such as back and shoulder pain or even headaches, you may have an underlying breathing disorder. Don’t worry, Dr. Korous and her amazing dental team can help!

Dr. Dunia Korous and the staff at Millennium Smiles recently began studying the connection between chronic pain conditions and breathing disorders as part of a program at the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre International in California.

The Link Between Breathing Disorders and Chronic Pain

Dr. Korous is studying with Dr. Steven Olmos. Dr. Olmos, founder of the TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre, has dedicated his career to helping patients with breathing disorders and chronic pains. Dr. Olmos regularly publishes research showing how patients with breathing disorders often display symptoms of chronic pain.

Dr. Olmos has found that these chronic conditions have a high rate of comorbidity with breathing disorders. In other words, breathing disorders and chronic pain are likely to occur together.

What Conditions Can Be Connected to Breathing Disorders

Sleep apnea is a common breathing disorder where your breathing repeatedly stops and starts while you’re sleeping. In many cases, patients and their partners first recognize snoring or gasping for air as the first symptom. But, there is another symptom you could experience as your body tries to prevent suffocation. Nighttime teeth grinding and clenching are unconscious efforts to keep your airway open.

Repeated grinding and clench will wear down your bones and joints and can lead to:

  • TMJ pain or disorders
  • Headaches
  • Face, neck or shoulder pain

Orthodontic relapse (your teeth begin shifting again after successfully competed an orthodontic treatment)

Additionally, the restless sleep caused by sleep apnea can lead to:

  • Migraine headaches
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Trouble staying asleep
  • Cluster headaches
  • Early morning headaches

Treatment Options for Breathing Disorders

You don’t have to live in pain or with a sleeping disorder. At Millennium Smiles, Dr. Korous offers appliance therapy as an alternative to uncomfortable or cumbersome CPAP machines for treating sleep apnea. The appliances are similar to a mouthguard and work by keeping your jaw aligned to prevent your airway from closing. Contact our office today to learn more about the connection between breathing disorders and chronic pain.

Video: Why Dr. Korous Is Committed to Treating Breathing Disorders