Do you wake up with a headache, get one after your commute to work, or find yourself in pain at the end of the day? It could be caused by stress in the jaw muscles, radiating into the TMJ area, face, neck and shoulders. Stress alone is a huge factor as to whether or not we get headaches, and many people clench or grind their teeth together, making the muscle related pain even worse.
Wearing a TMJ splint or bite guard can help prevent these headaches from happening. How? Because the splint keeps the jaws slightly apart from one another, disengaging the jaw muscles. In turn, this prevents muscle strain throughout the rest of the head and face. Splints can be worn when you sleep, drive, or if you work at a desk where you have some alone time throughout the day.
Having a splint made is relatively simple. After taking an impression of your teeth, your dentist will create a model of your mouth and then form a splint to fit precisely over your teeth. This splint will stay snuggly in place until you take it out on purpose, such as after you wake up or to answer a phone call. Most people experience pain relief in the first few days of wearing their splint, simply because of the relaxation and rest that it provides to the muscles.
It’s important to address the cause of your headaches not only for your comfort, but also for the health of your teeth. Otherwise the excessive tension will also cause damage to your teeth and any restorations that you may have.
Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
Headaches are nothing new for Americans. A look around your local drug store will reveal many different brands of pain relievers with specific varieties to treat different types of headaches. From a general headache, a sinus headache, an allergy related headache, to migraines there is a different medication for each type. Many people, however, don’t want medication to be their only option, and even more have found that they have taken meds for their headaches for so long that they are no longer as effective as they used to be. What many people don’t know is that often a dental issue is the root cause of their chronic headaches and that drug free headache prevention may be as close as their dentist’s office.
Many people are not aware that they have a malocclusion, or “bad bite.” This means that a person’s jaw is not properly aligned. When the jaw is out of alignment, it can put an increased pressure on one side of the jaw. Even a slight misalignment can cause significant headaches, and for those who are unaware that they have a bad bite they are treating their headache pain but not the root issue. By correcting the issue of a bad bite many headaches can be relieved and prevented.
Grinding and clenching of the teeth can also cause chronic headaches. Often, people are unaware that they grind or clinch their teeth because it is done while they sleep. A dentist knows the tell-tale signs of teeth grinding and clenching and can help diagnose patients of this habit. For most people whose headaches stem from grinding and clenching, they find a great solution to their chronic headaches in the form of custom mouth guards.
If you suffer from chronic headaches and are tired of taking pill after pill to mask the pain, make an appointment with your dentist. Instead of treating the symptoms, let your dentist offer a drug free solution.
Posted on behalf of Dr. David Janash, Park South Dentistry
Are chronic headaches and migraines interfering with your daily responsibilities? Although many people do not realize it, the source of some types of headaches originates from excess tension in muscles that originate around the jaw and radiate into the head, neck, and shoulders. Gritting, clenching, and grinding the teeth together or TMJ symptoms may be a signal that these headaches are being caused by oral factors.
Small, removable splint type devices are one of the most effective ways to ease muscle tension, reduce TMJ discomfort, and eliminate headaches caused by clenching. These custom-made prosthesis offer drug free headache prevention by helpint to move the jaw into a relaxed, resting position. This also causes the muscles to relax, and reduces tightness and discomfort that often radiates into the temples, face, or forehead. A jaw that is at rest should be in a position where the teeth are slightly apart, yet the lips are closed together. Splints are comfortable to wear and are a natural, preventive approach to eliminating chronic headaches.
A clinical examination with your dentist can pinpoint areas of muscle tension and dental wear to determine whether or not an oral appliance may be successful for your specific type of headache relief. Splints are made to endure long-term wear and tear, protecting the teeth from premature wear against themselves. They make a wonderful investment not only in providing headache relief, but also preventing damage to existing dental restorations that might otherwise be worn down or broken by chronic grinding.
Bite splints can be worn during the day or when you sleep, depending on when your headaches typically occur. Let your dentist know how frequently you suffer from headaches to find out if splint therapy is an effective treatment.
Posted on behalf of Dr. David Janash, Park South Dentistry
Neuromuscular dentistry is a therapy that uses advanced technology to determine the ideal position of your Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and the course of therapy that should be used in order to decrease your pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorder. This concept of dentistry is recognized by the International College of Cranio-Mandibular Orthopedics to treat symptoms and problems associated with the misalignment of the TMJ. While a portion of jaw alignment is due to the way your teeth bite together, other aspects of jaw functioning can be difficult to analyze in a visual manner.
Precise computerized instruments are placed on the patient’s skin around the TMJ to analyze the function of the jaw joint. The muscle that controls the TMJ is a complex muscle that if not functioning correctly can cause referred pain such as:
By correcting the function and alignment of the TMJ, neuromuscular dentistry aids dentists and their patients in relieving pain and stress associated with TMJ disorder. Muscle activity is measured using motion analysis and electronic wave sensing. When the proper area of rest is found through the computerized scanning, patients can be outfitted with an oral device that allows them to correctly position their jaw joint in a manner that provides optimal rest to the joint.
Computerized mandibular scanning allows your dentist to pinpoint precise areas in your TMJ that cause head and neck pain, clenching or grinding. Scanning the jaw during movement is part of a comprehensive treatment and analysis of jaw disorders in the dental office.
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