The correlation between upper body pain (including head, neck and shoulder pain) and a narrow upper airway space is extremely strong. Here we will show you how TMJ (TemporoMandibular Joint) pain can also be connected to a narrow upper airway space.
TMJ pain is often called the great impostor because TMJ symptoms can often radiate far away from the source of the problem. Pain behind the eyes, pain in the forehead, temple, jaws, ears, all can be referred from the TMJ. Other more obvious TMJ dysfunction symptoms include popping and cracking sounds coming from the jaw joint when opening and closing, a restriction in opening and closing, and pain in the joint when chewing.
TMJ pain can be caused by trauma, like a blow to the jaw or even a dental restoration that hits too hard when biting down. But the greatest source of TMJ pain that even most dentists do not understand is a narrow upper airway space. The body clenches the jaws during sleep and often during the day in an attempt to keep the airway space behind the tongue open. This chronic muscle tension in the jaw puts stress on the TMJ.