Elizabeth C., Whittier

I was diagnosed with TMJD and sleep apnea in January of 2009. I discovered it was due to the orthodontics treatment I received between 1977 and 1979; four perfectly good molars were removed in order to straighten out my lower crooked teeth and rid myself of an overbite.

In addition to jaw pain, I went through many years (off and on) of allergy shots. In my teens I developed allergies. I thought that my allergy symptoms were oftentimes worst at bedtime, but I know now that it was due to the effects of bad orthodontics resulting in TMJD which caused sleep apnea. Orthodontists back then did not know what they know now.

The goal of my existing and ongoing treatments is to reverse the bad orthodontics of my teenhood and get back the expansion of my jawline so that my temporal mandibular joints don't rub together while doing normal things like sleeping, eating, talking, and simply breathing. When a person's jawline is out of alignment like mine, breathing with my mouth closed was difficult because there is not enough room to inhale a full breathe of air before exhaling.

I used to sing soprano in my school's chorus before I had braces. After beginning orthodontics treatment through its completion during my teens, I could no longer sing a decent note, and I missed singing harmony with my little sister. Since undergoing TMJD/orthodontics treatments with Dr. Sarkissian and as my jawline shifts to a better position, I no longer have jaw pain, I sleep better, my singing has improved, and I know everything will get better when my treatment is complete.

My best friend and her husband had orthodontists that pulled out four of each of their perfectly good teeth prior to getting braces as well. They were told that they need to undergo the same treatment and procedures I'm going through if they want a permanent solution to their problems.

If you grew up during the baby-boomer generation and had braces back then, and if you snore, suffer from insomnia and experience almost falling asleep at the wheel, you might want to explore the cause. You might be suffering from sleep apnea caused by TMJD due to bad orthodontics practices of the past.