Try to imagine waking up for the third day in a row with a headache. This seems to be happening more frequently.
You grab the pain relievers from your medicine cabinet and take a few before starting your morning routine. You debate making breakfast, then decide to run through a drive-through on the way to work.
You order a coffee and bagel sandwich. You savor the first bite (because you are pretty hungry by this point), but something else is happening, too. The more you chew, the more your jaw starts to hurt. You give up on the sandwich and stick with your coffee instead.
If you can relate to that kind of morning, you may have a TMJ disorder. And if you live near Waco, TX, then you need to schedule an appointment with our dentist, Dr. Michael Thrasher
Call 254-400-2868 today to learn how Hillcrest Dental Care can use the TruDenta® treatment program to end your headaches and jaw pain.
How TMJ Leads To Headaches, Jaw Pains
When a lot of people talk about “having TMJ,” they mean a TMJ disorder. TMJ is short for temporomandibular joint.
You have two of these joints, which are where your lower jaw (also known as the mandible) connects to the rest of your skull. These joints allow you to open and close your mouth and, to a limited degree, to move your jaw side-to-side.
You can feel these joints working if you place your hands on your face just below your ears, then open and close your mouth.
TMJ problems can develop for a number of reasons — arthritis, alignment issues, and injuries. But one of the most common problems we see at Hillcrest Dental Care is teeth grinding.
You may be thinking, “I don’t grind my teeth.”
We hope you don’t, but many people do this without realizing that it’s happening. Millions of people grind and clench their teeth in their sleep.
Teeth grinding can cause a number of oral health issues, such as wearing down your enamel and leaving your teeth more vulnerable to the bacteria that cause tooth decay. If you come to us concerned that you might have a TMJ disorder, we will look for the symptoms of teeth grinding.
In addition to the effects on your teeth, the grinding puts a lot of added pressure on your jaw joints and the surrounding muscle tissue. This can lead to a variety of symptoms, such as:
- Frequent headaches or earaches, especially in the morning
- Frequent jaw, face, and neck pain
- Jaw soreness during or after eating
- Inability to fully open or close your mouth
- Feeling like your jaw is stuck
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, we encourage you to plan a visit to our Waco, TX, dentist office soon.
Treating TMJ & Its Symptoms With TruDenta
TruDenta could be the perfect solution for you if you are struggling with teeth grinding and TMJ problems. This is a comprehensive approach to headache treatment.
With TruDenta, we take a close look at your jaw, and we use technology to improve your condition. One of the things we look at is the balance of your bite. If you are putting more pressure on one side of your mouth than the other, that could explain why you have a TMJ issue on one side.
Our range of motion analysis can help determine if alignment may be a factor in your jaw pains as well.
The treatment itself does not require injections, and it doesn’t involve taking medication. Instead, we may use one or more of the following to help you:
- Ultrasound — This uses sound waves to break up scar tissue that could be affecting the movement of your jaw.
- Trigger point manipulation — By stimulating the muscles around your TMJ, we can reduce tension in these areas.
- Cold laser and microcurrent — These treatments can decrease pain, accelerate healing, and improve the range of motion in your jaw.
We will work with you to provide relief from the symptoms of your teeth grinding and TMJ disorder. We don’t ever want any patient to be in pain, and if we can help, that’s exactly what we will do.
Stop Living With Pain
TMJ disorders can disrupt your life. Jaw pains can make it difficult to eat. Headaches can make you want to avoid everyone, including your family and friends.