If you wake up with headaches or jaw pain, you are not alone. Millions of Americans suffer from jaw problems that cause headaches, neck aches, and facial soreness.
What Jaw Pain May Indicate
Jaw pain, often called temporomandibular joint dysfunction, TMJ, or TMJD, covers a wide range of jaw problems that can cause patients significant discomfort. Symptoms may be continuous or they can come and go.
Some lifestyle factors may influence the symptoms associated with TMJ pain:
- Alcohol use
- Certain drugs or medications
- A-type personalities
Reducing stress and discontinuing drug and alcohol use can sometimes improve conditions, but they often require additional treatment to resolve completely.
Jaw pain and headaches often come from a nighttime teeth-grinding habit called bruxism. We can determine if you are grinding your teeth by looking for common signs of grinding including bite marks, worn teeth, gum recession, and bony growths under the tongue called tori.
Waking up with tooth sensitivity is often a telltale sign of a bruxing habit.
Headaches and TMJD or Jaw Pain
Morning headaches and migraines have been associated with TMJ dysfunction. For some patients they can also come and go throughout the day, especially when bruxism contributes to your headaches.
Headaches linked to TMJ pain are often severe and can even lead to ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and migraines.
Solutions for TMJD, Jaw Pain, and Headaches
At Spring Grove Dental, we treat jaw problems and teeth grinding associated with TMJ pain using evidence-based solutions that provide our patients with relief and comfort.
Oral splint therapy – Splint therapy uses a custom made oral appliance, similar to a mouthguard, that fits snugly over your teeth and gently guides your jaw into ideal alignment. This process allows your jaw muscles to relax and reduces inflammation, relieving the pain associated with TMJ dysfunction and bruxism.
Your custom oral appliance provides a barrier between your upper and lower teeth. This protects your teeth from the wear, cracks, and other damage that often occurs with a nighttime clenching and grinding habit.
Occlusal equilibration – Oftentimes, TMJD occurs due to an unhealthy relationship between your upper and lower teeth. If your teeth do not come together correctly, it can lead to tooth pain and the inability for your jaw to seat comfortably in its joints.
By making small adjustments to the surfaces of your teeth, we can relieve your bite issues and allow your jaw muscles to relax. These precision adjustments are painless and do not put your oral health at risk but may provide exceptional comfort and relief for symptoms associated with jaw joint problems.
Are You Experiencing Jaw Pain or Headaches?
Contact our Richmond, IN dental office to schedule a TMJ evaluation with one of our highly skilled and experienced dentists. We look forward to providing you with greater comfort.