If you are experiencing headaches or jaw pain and you do not have an explanation of where the pain is originating from, you could be experiencing the discomfort of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction (TMD).
Tension headaches are common in the vast majority of the general population. In most cases, over the counter medications eliminate the discomfort. People suffering from TMJ/TMD do not always get relief with these medications. The discomfort is the result of strain placed on the jaw joint - the temporomandibular joint - and can radiate into surrounding muscles and tissues.
The stress on this joint most often comes from teeth clenching and/or grinding. Approximately one-third of the nation’s population suffers from headaches associated with TMJ/TMD. Most people affected are between the ages of 20 and 40 years old. Those who have TMD may not be aware that clenching their teeth and/or grinding them while they sleep may be contributing to their discomfort.
The headaches resulting from TMJ/TMD are not life-threatening; however, the discomfort can be substantial. When you are experiencing such headache pain, proper diagnosis is the first step in getting treatment. Dr. Truong will examine your jaw joint and with a few tests, determine the extent of your disorder. With some patients practicing certain exercises may help alleviate the discomfort. More severe cases will require more aggressive treatment. Once the diagnosis and extent of the disorder are identified, Dr. Truong will discuss treatment options with you.
Teeth are subject to incredible pressure during your waking hours. Chewing your food properly takes a tremendous amount of force. So the added pressure of grinding your teeth while sleeping is something you need to avoid. Bruxism or teeth grinding while you sleep can do damage to your teeth in addition to causing you other problems like head, neck and shoulder pain.
Children generally outgrow bruxism, and some adults only clench when under unusual amounts of stress. When the practice is sporadic, it may not need to be treated; however, for those who are chronic teeth grinders, an intervention with a custom night guard can reduce if not eliminate the damage caused by bruxism. This device can help stop the damage that occurs with bruxism. Custom made to fit; these guards keep you from grinding your teeth during sleep.
Contact The Grove Family Dentistry today to make an appointment.