Patients suffering from OSA lose their breath because the tongue falls back and blocks their upper airway. It happens because the muscles at the back of the throat over-relax, letting the tongue slip from its place.
Breathing disruptions, sometimes happening up to 30 times in a given night, can cause a dip in the level of oxygen in the blood, and in turn, lead to a build-up of carbon dioxide.
The rest of what happens, including the clenching of the teeth and the subsequent pain in the jaw, are a result of the body’s compensatory reaction — the brain telling the jaw to move forward to clear the airway. When the jaw moves, it forces the teeth into a clench, thereby causing pain.Authored By : Dr. Rajesh Raveendranathan