TMJ and Bruxism (Grinding and Clenching)
If you are dealing with chronic headaches, you may never even have thought about visiting your dentist to find out the cause. Many people aren’t aware of the connection that exists between headaches and the jaw, face, and neck. In fact, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is often characterized by painful symptoms in all of these areas—including headaches.
People who have TMD often experience headaches along with pain in their neck and shoulders. Dizziness, earaches, and ringing in the ears are other common symptoms. The condition, which affects the jaw, jaw joints, and facial muscles that control the jaw, can mean that pain radiates to nearby areas as well.
Talk to Dr. Richard Mancuso if you are experiencing headache pain or other symptoms that could be related to your jaw. After an evaluation, Dr. Mancuso will recommend treatment that will get rid of your pain.
What Is TMJ?
People often mistakenly refer to TMJ as a disorder; but TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull. Disorders of the jaw and the muscles that control the jaw are correctly referred to as temporomandibular disorders (TMD).
The TMJ is the joint that gives us the ability to open and close our mouth. If the joint is inflamed, it can be painful and it can affect jaw mobility.
Disorders with the TMJ can include a number of issues, including:
- Chronic pain in the head, neck, and shoulders
- Pain when speaking, chewing, or yawning
- Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
- Clicking when opening and closing the mouth
- Chewing problems
- Ringing or pain in the ears
- Severe damage to the teeth
Bruxism and TMD
Tooth grinding can result in TMD. Most tooth grinding occurs due to an involuntary reflex during sleep, causing you to be unaware you are doing it. This tooth grinding is known as “bruxism” and is a fairly common condition that will cause severe tooth wear. However, Bruxism can be treated!
Other Causes of TMD
Other causes for TMD include a misaligned jaw or bad bite where the teeth do not meet together properly. This is known as malocclusion.
Injuries to the cartilage around the temporomandibular joint can also be a cause of TMD. Arthritis can also cause TMJ problems.
Stop TMJ Pain for Good
Reasons for TMJ pain vary from patient to patient. When you see Dr. Mancuso, he will take the time to get to the bottom of the reasons for your TMJ disorder, and he will work with you to determine the best course of treatment.
Don’t suffer any longer with jaw pain, headaches, earaches, or jaw clicking. Call Dr. Mancuso about solutions for TMD or Bruxism. We look forward to helping you get rid of your pain!