TMJ, headaches and bruxism
It’s a pain in the jaw…
If you experience:
- Recurring headaches
- A clicking sound when you eat
- Jaw pain
Then you may be suffering from TMJ Disorder.
TMJ: What You Need to Know about TMJ and Bruxism
Did you wake up with a sore jaw this morning, or a persistent headache you simply can’t shift? Is it painful to move your jaw or does it pop or click when you talk or yawn? It could be TMJ.
What is TMJ?
TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder is a painful problem that affects your temporomandibular joints. These are your jaw joints and they are two of the most used joints in your body. If these joints are misaligned or have become sore and inflamed, then the pain can cause headaches and facial pain that can even spread into your neck and shoulders. Problems can arise as the result of an injury or accident, or could be due to rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism, where people will clench or grind their teeth during sleep is a relatively common condition but can place the jaw joints under considerable stress. Bruxism also places your teeth and gums under a lot of pressure and can result in tooth fractures and gum recession, or in the worst cases may even lead to tooth loss.
Diagnosing and treating TMJ and Bruxism
If you do have problems with your jaws then please contact us so we can make a proper diagnosis. Our dentists here at Glebe Dental Group can soon determine the problem through conducting a thorough examination of your teeth and jaws. The most straightforward treatment is for us to make a night guard or splint for you. This will fit over your upper teeth and is made from a tough clear plastic material, preventing your teeth from contacting and reducing pressure on your jaw joints.
Talking, yawning, chewing and a thousand other movements you do every day can only be achieved because of one thing, your Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ).
It is one of the most used joints in your body and is located just in front of your ears and connects your jawbone to your skull.
A misaligned jaw can strain jaw and facial muscles and result in recurring headaches, face, neck or shoulder pain. Medically this is known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ). Damage to the jaw from an accident or sporting injury as well as the presence of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the TMJ can also be contributing factors.
Grinding your teeth is called Bruxism and many people are unaware they do it, as it mostly occurs during sleep. This puts a lot of pressure on the TMJ, and can also cause fillings to become loose and teeth to fracture in some cases.
To determine correct jaw alignment and eliminate TMJ as being the cause of any pain or discomfort, the Glebe Dental Group can conduct a comprehensive physical examination and oral health assessment. This may also involve taking detailed x-rays and a review your medical history.
There are a number of options available to treat TMJ Headaches and Bruxism and alleviate discomfort.
One of the most common treatment options is a dental splint or night guard. Made from a high grade plastic, they look similar to a sport mouth guard and fit precisely over the upper teeth. They re-position your bite to prevent the upper and lower teeth from coming together, reducing the effects of clenching or grinding your teeth.
If you experience these symptoms, hear a clicking or popping sound when you chew or have been told you grind your teeth while sleeping, the team at Glebe Dental Group can assess your TMJ and offer a solution.