Do you talk in your sleep? Walk in your sleep? Grind your teeth in your sleep? Don’t be so quick to say no to the last one, especially if you struggle with frequent headaches and jaw pain.
Teeth grinding can be a cause or a contributing factor in TMJ disorders. The good news is that you can get treatment. It’s as close as our dentist office in Sand Springs, OK.
Our dentists will be happy to examine your teeth and your jaw. We offer multiple solutions, and we will do everything we can to help you find the right one for you.
To make an appointment at the Galleria of Smiles in Sand Spring, you can use our online contact form or call 918-245-5976.
Learn The Symptoms Of TMJ Disorders
We want you to know up front that many people experience TMJ issues from time to time. Not everyone will develop a TMJ disorder, thankfully.
Even so, it is important that you know the TMJ symptoms that could indicate that you have a more serious problem.
Frequent headaches and earaches, particularly when you wake up, can be your first clue. If your morning routine involves taking a pain reliever, that could be a clue that you should visit Galleria of Smiles.
Likewise, frequent jaw pain is another sign of possible TMJ trouble. Again, you may notice this pain when you wake up from a night of sleep or a nap. You may feel pain while you are eating or after a meal. You may even have a lingering pain that never seems to go away.
TMJ disorders also can include facial pains, neck, shoulder, and upper back pain in some cases.
While pain is a common symptom of TMJ disorder, there are signs that aren’t necessarily painful.
You could notice clicking or popping as your open and close your mouth. You also may notice jaw mobility issues. If you can’t open or close your jaw completely, that may be because of a TMJ problem. You also may feel like your jaw is stuck from time to time.
You could experience any one of these symptoms, or you may have a variety of symptoms you deal with regularly.
If you are, please call 918-245-5976 soon to make an appointment at Galleria of Smiles.
Teeth Grinding & Other Causes Of TMJ Disorders
Clenching your teeth together or grinding your teeth puts added pressure on your TMJ. This is your temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. It’s what allows you to open and close your mouth.
An average person produces a bite force between 200 and 250 pounds. This is more than enough for the food that we eat. Researchers have also measured the force generated by people who grind their teeth at 500 pounds or more.
That’s a lot of added strain on your TMJ as well as the muscles around it.
Stress can lead many people to grind their teeth without knowing it, either while they are awake or while they are sleeping.
TMJ disorders can be someone complex, so teeth grinding isn’t the only possible cause of this problem.
Arthritis, injuries, illnesses, and bite alignment issue may play a role as well. It’s certainly possible that more than one cause is contributing your specific TMJ issues.
Nevertheless, if you suspect that you have a TMJ disorder, we encourage you to visit our dentist office in Sand Springs, OK, soon. Knowing if you are grinding your teeth or not will get you closer to a treatment for your headaches, jaw pains, and other symptoms.
Treating TMJ Disorders
From what you have ready above, you know that TMJ can have multiple causes and produce a variety of symptoms. So, it probably makes sense that there are multiple ways to treat this condition as well.
Here are some of the solutions we have found effective at Galleria of Smiles:
▷ Night guards
This is great for patients who grind their teeth in their sleep. This is a like an athletic mouthguard except you wear it while you are sleeping. This appliance can keep your teeth separated and train your jaw to rest in a relaxed position.
▷ TENS treatment
The TENS systems is a way to manually relax your jaw muscles with the use of gentle electrical pulses. As your jaw relaxes, we can better determine its resting position. This can be useful when creating your night guard.
▷ Orthodontic treatment
This can be useful for patients who have misaligned bites that affect how their jaws move as they bite and chew food. Correcting misalignments can alleviate the added strain on your jaw and your TMJ.