Tag Archives: TMJ

How do you prevent TMJ?

tmj

What is TMJ?

Feeling stressed out?  Your not alone.  A survey released on February 15, 2017 by the American Psychological Association reports that Americans say they’re feeling more stress than ever before.  Unfortunately, there is quite a down side to lot’s of stress.  It will ultimately affect your health in one form or another.  This stands true with dental issues as well.  TMJ problems are rising due to high stress levels in the world. TMJ or Temporomandibular Disorder is a condition that indicates the hinge connecting the upper and lower jaw isn’t working properly.

So what behaviors contribute to TMJ?

Many people who are stressed tend to develop some bad behaviors.  Biting on fingernails, pen caps, or the inside of your mouth can cause jaw pain. Other conditions such as when that feeling of anxiety kicks in, we find a cheesy pizza, bag of chips or even ice cream.  Let’s face it, there are many stress eaters out there.  Unfortunately, when “stressing out”, people tend to eat larger bites while eating.  To alleviate symptoms of TMJ, you need to avoid the behaviors.  Stop chewing on your nails, or pen.  While eating, take smaller bites.  You can also regularly massage your jaw, cheeks and temple muscles.

Another symptoms of TMJ is spasms. Most patients find heat is helpful in relieving pain and muscle tension.  This pain may radiate to your neck or shoulders. It can also cause ear pain, ringing the the ears and hearing loss.  Symptoms typically manifest when talking, yawning or chewing.  If symptoms occur, apply moist heat to the spasm area.  Also, try to maintain good sleep posture with neck support.  Good sleep posture is achieved when you maintain the curve in your lower back.  It is recommended that a person lye on their back with a pillow under their knees.  If that doesn’t work for you, try sleeping on your side with your knees slightly bent.

Another habit that adds to TMJ symptoms is teeth grinding.  Teeth grinding and clenching is a habit over time that will damage your teeth and will also add to TMJ symptoms.  The best way to resolve this issue is to see your dentist and ask about a night guard.  A night guard is a device that you where in your sleep and will prevent you from grinding.

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Keep Waking Up With Headaches?

Keep Waking Up With HeadachesKeep Waking Up With Headaches?

If the first thing you feel in the morning is a headache or pain behind your eyes or pain in your neck and shoulders, come in for a visit. What you’re experiencing could be the result of problems in your mouth. These are common symptoms of a condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), which basically means that your jaws don’t align properly. This misalignment stresses the jaw joints, putting pressure on nerves and muscles – which can result in morning headaches, migraines or facial and neck pain.

Not everyone with TMJ disorder shows symptoms. And not everyone has headaches or pain; TMJ disorder can also lead to broken teeth or fillings, loose teeth and toothaches. What is certain is that if you do display any of these symptoms, they won’t get better without professional help.

 

Many people find that resting the jaw helps ease the pain. You can do this by eating soft foods, avoiding chewing gum and hard candies. We can also show you jaw exercises to stretch the jaw joints and relieve stress. For most people, the most effective treatment is a custom dental splint that fits over your upper and lower teeth. This reduces the damage done from repeated clenching of the jaw or teeth grinding.

 

If these conservative methods don’t work, you still have other options. The temporomandibular joints can be flushed out, or an injection of cortisone can help relieve inflammation and pain. Worse-case scenario, you might need surgery. Come in for a visit and we’ll help you find the right solution.