This is one of those WOW moments, Michelle. When I was diagnosed with apnea I also noticed I would wake with numbness in my thumb, pointer and middle fingers. It would go away when I moved my neck or rubbed the nerve on the back of my neck. The doctor said it was a pinched nerve. But it doesn't stop there. There seems to be a connection between the nerves in the neck and TMJ....and somehow apnea fits into this, too. It's all a gray area. Unfortunately the dental community doesn't talk to the medical community about the connection between TMJ and apnea. Dentists swear by their appliances for treating the problem and doctors think that surgery or CPAP therapy is the answer. Why can't we get them to talk to each other???? I don't have TMJ - or at least not a bad case of it but do have ringing in my ears and I have heard that is part of TMJ.
When HMOs start understanding that dentistry is an important part of overall health perhaps they will also pay for the dental appliances that seeem to work for some patients suffering apnea.