Don’t Skip The Dentist Because Of A Headache
Most people have headaches from time to time, but frequent headaches can interfere with your life. Severe headaches, like migraines, can leave you unable to work or unable to enjoy time with your family.
If you think you’ve tried everything, then it may be time to call our dentist office in Rochester Hills, MI. If your headaches are related to a TMJ disorder, then we may have just the treatment at Hubbard & Leath Dental.
By making an appointment, one of our dentists can examine your teeth and jaw. If we see signs of a TMJ disorder, then we will do everything we can to get your TMJ troubles and your headaches under control.
Signs That Headaches, TMJ Are Related
A lot of things can cause headaches, so having frequent headaches may or may not be related to TMJ issues. TMJ is a short way of saying temporomandibular joint.
People have two of these joints on either side of your head.
If you place a finger under each ear, you can feel these joints moving as you open and close your mouth. In fact, these joints are the reason you can open and close your mouth.
TMJ problems can arise from arthritis, illnesses, injuries, jaw alignment, or teeth grinding, which is sometimes referred to as bruxism. Many people clench or grind their teeth without realizing that they do it.
One reason people grind their teeth is stress. This can occur while you are in a stressful moment, or it can occur while you are sleeping.
It may be worth noting was has happened just prior to your headaches. It also is worth noting how often you have headaches when you wake up in the morning. This is important information to share with our dentist when you visit our office in Rochester Hills, MI.
We want to reiterate that headaches can have many causes. With that in mind, we would encourage you to be aware of other symptoms of TMJ disorders:
▸ Frequent jaw pain when you wake up
▸ Jaw pain while or after eating
▸ Soreness or tenderness in your face
▸ Difficulty opening or closing your mouth
▸ Frequent earaches
▸ Neck, shoulder, and upper back pains
You may experience one, some, or all of these symptoms at various times. Again, try to track how often you wake up with these symptoms. That could be a clue about teeth grinding in your sleep.
To schedule an appointment, call Hubbard & Leath Dental at 248.266.2528.
Teeth Grinding And TMJ
To understand how teeth grinding affects TMJ, you only need to know a couple things.
▪︎ The average human creates between 200 and 250 pounds of force with his or her bite.
▪︎ Researchers have measure people who grind their teeth generating 500 pounds of force and much more in some cases.
That’s a lot of extra force, and your jaw is what is absorbing it. That pressure can affect the TMJ directly. It also can put added stress on the muscles and ligaments that connect to the TMJ.
No matter how you look at it, teeth grinding is bad for your jaw joints. Given the location of those joints, it also makes sense that headaches would be a symptom.
There is another thing we should mention. Teeth grinding is bad for your teeth. That may be obvious, but it worth mentioning.
By grinding your teeth, they can become chipped, worn down, and flatter. You may be wearing down your enamel, too. With time, this could expose the softer layer of dentin below your enamel. This also may lead to increases sensitivity to heat and cold.
In other words, you have several reasons to want to stop grinding your teeth.
How We Can Help
At Hubbard & Leath Dental, we have a few ways that we can help. We estimate that around 30 percent of our patients show signs of teeth grinding.
For some, learning muscle relaxation exercises is a good way to alleviate clenching and grinding. Our team of professionals would be happy to teach you what you can do.
If needed, we can go a step further by creating a mouthguard that you can wear while you sleep. First and foremost, this will keep your upper and lower teeth separated so you can’t grind them together. Second, this mouthguard will hold your jaw in a more relaxed position. As you adjust to wearing it, you should notice fewer headaches and other symptoms.