Do you suffer from frequent headaches? You may have bruxism.
Also known as teeth grinding, bruxism is a condition that occurs unconsciously. Clenching and grinding your teeth is a very common dental concern, especially if you are experiencing high levels of stress. However, if bruxism is left untreated it can damage your teeth and alignment. At Orchard Hills Dental in Hendersonville, NC, Dr. Jessica Christy offers treatment options to eliminate headaches as well as the other symptoms that accompany bruxism.
Headaches, Bruxism, and TMJ
Grinding your teeth puts a strain on the large muscles of your jaw, causing them to tense up. If you ignore the problem, these muscles can wind tighter and tighter, exacerbating your problems. High levels of a jaw muscle strain can eventually push your jaw out of alignment and become temporomandibular joint disorders or TMJ. Disorders of the jaw joints and can manifest in chronic headaches, earaches, jaw or neck pain, and even muscle spasms.
Common symptoms that accompany TMJ headaches may include:
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- Sore jaw or jaw pain
- Neck or shoulder pain
- Limited mobility in the jaw, locking jaw
- Popping noise in the jaw joint
- Pressure in the ear or earaches
At the root of many jaws and head pain problems is malocclusion, also known as poor tooth or jaw alignment. A bite that is not balanced can create tension and orofacial pain as well as excessive tooth wear. Every bite is different, and there is no one kind of TMJ, which is why Dr. Christy will analyze your bite before treatment. Once she understands the exact nature of your bite issues, she will work with you to develop a treatment plan that may even provide long-term or permanent relief.
For many patients, the best course of treatment is a night mouthguard. This is a simple but effective solution that prevents the teeth from grinding against each other. This both protects the teeth from damage, and relieves tension, allowing the jaw to rest. By wearing this oral appliance every night, or even in stressful situations, patients can enjoy immediate relief of their headaches and migraines.