Are You Living with Chronic Headaches?
Pain and discomfort caused by problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can leave you with a sore jaw, chronic migraines, unexplained pain around your ears, and issues opening and closing your mouth. TMJ pain may also turn routine activities such as speaking and eating or even yawning into uncomfortable experiences. If you clench your grind your teeth (bruxism), you may be experiencing similar symptoms, such as headaches or jaw pain. While not always strictly associated with TMJ, this may be adding to the TMJ discomfort and symptoms you are having. Because this pain can be mild to debilitating, a custom evaluation is needed to help us determine what measures we will need to take to help you find relief.
Symptoms of TMJ
- Tender or sore jaw
- Jaw clicking or popping
- Chronic headaches
- Locking of the jaw joint
- Aches around the ears
Symptoms of Bruxism
- Chronic headaches
- Jaw or neck pain
- Fractured or cracked teeth
- Worn teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
What Causes TMJ and Bruxism Pain?
The temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the skull and allows for full range of motion of the jaw when biting, chewing, yawning, and speaking. When injured, damaged, or the muscle becomes overworked, it can result in anything from jaw pain to headaches and locking of the jaw. Bruxism, along with misalignment of the teeth, can lead to TMJ pain as well, as an uneven bite due to worn or crooked teeth can cause abnormal pressure and wear on the jaw joint and muscles. Commonly, treatment for one issue can help relieve symptoms of the other.
Treating TMJ Disorder and Bruxism
Dr. Steven Garhardt focuses on patient education to help you understand why TMJ pain and bruxism occur and measures you can take to help relieve symptoms. Many times, pain from TMJ disorder and bruxism can be elevated with non-surgical solutions like night guards that protect the teeth from touching during sleep, when most grinding and clenching occurs. Your jaw will typically feel less sore upon waking. Sometimes, pain may be attributed to misaligned teeth that can cause the joint to overwork itself. In this case, we can perform an occlusal adjustment that alters the surface of select teeth to help create a more harmonious bite.
Relieve Pain with Effective Treatment
Seeking timely care for your TMJ pain or bruxism will help ensure that your jaw and teeth do not become severely damaged. Without proper treatment, severe cases can lead to chipped or fractured teeth and even the dislocation of the jaw joint. We provide a comprehensive examination of your mouth, jaw, and muscles to help determine which solution is best for your needs. Dr. Garhardt can help you find relief from your symptoms!