TMJ, Headaches and Bruxism

It’s a pain in the jaw

Talking, yawning, chewing and a thousand other movements you do every day can only be achieved because of one thing, your Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ).

It is one of the most used joints in your body and is located just in front of your ears and connects your jawbone to your skull.

A misaligned jaw can strain jaw and facial muscles and result in recurring headaches, face, neck or shoulder pain. Medically this is known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ). Damage to the jaw from an accident or sporting injury as well as the presence of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the TMJ can also be contributing factors.

Grinding your teeth is called Bruxism and many people are unaware they do it, as it mostly occurs during sleep. This puts a lot of pressure on the TMJ, and can also cause fillings to become loose and teeth to fracture in some cases.

To determine correct jaw alignment and eliminate TMJ as being the cause of any pain or discomfort, the Glebe Dental team can conduct a comprehensive physical examination and oral health assessment. This may also involve taking detailed x-rays and a review your medical history.

There are a number of options available to treat TMJ Headaches and Bruxism and alleviate discomfort.

One of the most common treatment options is a dental splint or night guard. Made from a high grade plastic, they look similar to a sport mouth guard and fit precisely over the upper teeth. They re-position your bite to prevent the upper and lower teeth from coming together, reducing the effects of clenching or grinding your teeth.

If you experience these symptoms, hear a clicking or popping sound when you chew or have been told you grind your teeth while sleeping, the team at Glebe Dental can assess your TMJ and offer a solution.