Millions of Americans suffer from chronic facial and neck pain as well as recurrent headaches. In some cases this pain is due to Temporomandibular Disorder, or TMD.
Your temporomandibular joints, or jaw joints, connect your lower jawbone to your skull. As you may imagine, these joints get quite a lot of use throughout the day as you speak, chew, swallow, and yawn. Pain in and around these joints can be unpleasant and may even restrict movement.
Symptoms of TMD include:
- Pain in the jaw area
- Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in the ears
- Frequent headaches or neck aches
- Clicking or popping sound when the jaw moves
- Swelling on the sides of the face
- Muscle spasms in the jaw area
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Gum and bone recession
- Lack of sleep due to facial muscles working all night
- Locked jaw or limited opening of the mouth
Should you notice any of these symptoms, let us know! We can help advise you as to whether they indicate the presence of TMD, and what sort of treatment is appropriate for you.
If you don't have any of these symptoms, let's keep it that way! There are some simple things you can do at home or work to prevent TMD from occurring in your jaw joints:
- Relax your face - remember the rule: "Lips together, teeth apart"
- Avoid grinding your teeth
- Avoid constant gum chewing
- Don't cradle the phone receiver between your head and shoulder - either use a headset or hold the receiver to your ear
- Chew food evenly on both sides of your mouth
- Do not sit with your chin rested on your hand
- Practice good posture - keep your head up, back straight, and shoulders squared
Causes of Teeth Grinding:
- Frustration of suppressed anger
- Poor alignment of teeth or missing teeth
Why you should wear a night guard:
- This simple device will protect the enamel surfaces of your teeth. Bruxism (grinding) will damage and chip your teeth. This can ruin a beautiful smile.
- These night guards can help keep headaches and jaw pain from developing. These guards will do more than protect your teeth from breaking and hurting, they can help insure a long and restful sleep, night after night.