Do you have headaches or chronic migraines?
Did you know the Candlewood Dental Care team can help?!
About 90% of the population suffer from some type of TMJ disorder without even knowing it. When you place too much force on your jaw, ligaments or teeth, they eventually reach a breaking point. The main cause of this is due to to clenching or grinding your teeth. The initial symptoms are teeth related, either lesions or cracks on the teeth that your dentist or hygienist will inform you of when you come into the office. After some time, the jaw becomes sore or stiff and you will notice clicking or popping when you open or chew.
New studies have shown that there is a possibility that headaches are linked to these over worked facial muscles. Because the nerves in your head and neck are so closely intertwined, it is thought that excessive forces on certain muscles cause a ripple effect which lead to chronic migraine symptoms.
A chronic migraine is defined as having at least 15 headache days in a month. These headaches do not have to be the typical debilitating headache type. Your doctor will ask you a series of questions to determine the severity of your symptoms, such as “how many days a week do you NOT have a headache?” and “what is the location of your headache?”
Both TMJ and headache pain can be reduced by having your doctor fabricate certain types of night guards. A night guard is a mouthpiece you wear when you are sleeping because this is when you are doing the most damage. The guard is made specifically for your mouth. It holds your jaw in a neutral position to relieve the stress off the jaw and musculature. Studies have shown when wearing an NTI (a guard made in the office for both TMJ and headache pain) your muscles can only contract about 24%. Your doctor will discuss which night guard is best for you based on your symptoms.