If you’ve been waking up in the mornings with excruciating or pounding headaches and you’re wondering why it might be time to consider the possibility of TMD/TMJ.
The two acronyms are often used interchangeably to refer to a disorder in the joint in a person’s jaw that becomes compromised or unhinged when used. The full name for the disorder is Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome.
Many things can contribute to TMJ, including simple genetic factors and stress. Other factors that we see at Mercer Smiles are the onset of arthritis or old traumatic injuries to the jaw bone. But one of the most common causes is teeth grinding or clenching of the teeth – two conditions that can easily be remedied with a night guard that is worn during sleep.
Many patients report hearing a clicking sound in their jaw when they speak or yawn. Others report that their jaw gets locked, which makes it difficult for them to open or close their mouth. And still, others report that it’s painful for them to chew food without experiencing residual jaw tenderness. These are by no means every symptom of TMJ, but a dental exam will identify whether or not you may be suffering from the condition.
The simple answer is “no.” TMJ conditions can lead to various types of headaches, although cluster headaches and migraines are the two that are most commonly reported. The good news for patients is that once the TMJ condition has been successfully treated the headaches will go away.
Although surgery is sometimes used as a treatment option for severe cases of TMJ, many patients in Robbinsville have achieved successful relief from the TMJ symptoms with the use of a mouth guard. Some things that you can try at home are hot and cold therapy to the aching jaw area. If the problem persists, please visit the professional and caring staff at Mercer Smiles to learn if a custom mouth guard is right for you.