Your Dentist May Be Able To Treat Your Headaches
Bill wakes up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. After removing his night guard, he can’t help smiling.
He brushes his teeth before jumping in the shower. After cleaning up, he gets dressed and ready for work.
“Morning, honey,” Bill tells his wife, who is fixing breakfast for their children before they get on the bus for school.
“I made you something, too,” she says while handing him a sandwich wrapped in a paper towel. “It’s a bacon, egg, and cheese toast.”
“You’re the best,” Bill replies. “I love you so much.”
He gives his wife a kiss and heads out the door. He is so glad he talked to his dentist about getting that night guard. His mornings — and the rest of his days — are so much easier without the pain of his TMJ disorder.
What Is TMJ? And What Is a TMJ Disorder?
While Bill isn’t a real person, we have helped many patients with a similar problem at our dentist office in Salem.
TMJ treatments are just one of the many things we do at Oregon Smile Care Center.
You may have heard someone talking about TMJ at some point. In everyday conversation, TMJ is a quick way of saying a TMJ problem or in more serious cases a TMJ disorder.
TMJ is short for temporomandibular joint. You have two of these joints, which all the movement of your lower jaw. This also is the point where your lower jaw connects to your skull.
TMJ disorders can develop for a variety of reasons. You may have arthritis. You may have suffered a traumatic injury to your head or mouth. You may have a habit of clenching or grinding your teeth together.
Often, TMJ problems are the result of a combination of causes. Our dentist may be able to help you identify if you have TMJ problem and, if so, to help you treat it.
Signs And Symptoms
The symptoms of TMJ disorders, unfortunately, can be caused by other problems as well. Many times you will experience more than one symptom as a result of your condition, and that combination can give you a clue that maybe you should take action.
Headaches (including migraines) can be a frequent occurrence if you are struggling with a TMJ problem. Teeth grinding may contribute to this issue. You may be doing this in your sleep, and it can make your mornings much more difficult.
Headaches can happen for a number of reasons, so you should be aware of other symptoms as well.
Jaw pain is a concern for many people with TMJ issues. This jaw can linger. This pain can spike when you are eating or after you have finished a meal.
Chewing something hard or crunchy (like a bacon sandwich on toast) can be enough to trigger this pain. This is why people with TMJ issues are sometimes encouraged to eat soft foods like eggs or soup for a few days to see if that helps with the symptoms.
Other symptoms include earaches and face, neck, and upper back pain.
You also may notice changes in the range of movement of your jaw. You may not be able to completely open or close your jaw, and at times, your jaw may even feel like it’s stuck in a particular position.
If you are having more than one of these symptoms, we would encourage you to make an appointment at our dentist office as soon as you can if you live in or near Salem, OR.
Before our dentist, Dr. Hanson, does anything, he will want to examine your teeth and jaw to confirm that your symptoms are rooted in a TMJ problem. If they are, then he may recommend a night guard for you.
Millions of people grind their teeth in their sleep, and that puts added pressure on your jaw. A night guard is a special appliance that you can wear overnight to keep your teeth separated so you can’t grind them together.
This also can alleviate the pressure on your jaw. In turn, that can reduce your headaches, jaw pain, and other TMJ disorder symptoms.
Get The Help That You Need
There’s no reason for anyone to suffer from a TMJ disorder once it’s been identified. You can get help, and our team at Oregon Smile Care Center would be happy to provide that assistance.