September 16, 2021
The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are defined by Johns Hopkins Medicine as “the 2 joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull. More specifically, they are the joints that slide and rotate in front of each ear, and consist of the mandible (the lower jaw) and the temporal bone (the side and base of the skull).”
As you can tell, these are complex joints that can cause complex issues, which we call Temporomandibular disorders (TMD). These disorders of the jaw and muscle can cause intense facial pain. And usually, this doesn’t just happen overnight. These issues can appear as a result of activities and changes over time, beginning as early as our teens.
Teens and TMJ
Any stressor on the jaw can contribute to TMD. This can be processed foods, high-impact sports like football or cheerleading, and chewing on pen caps or gum. These activities push our jaw backward, which puts stress on the joint, causing tension until our late teens or 20s when the jaw reaches adult size.
Adults and TMJ
Between demanding jobs and daily obligations, adult life can be stressful. For the people that didn’t begin to develop TMD as a teen, the start of TMD can happen from teeth grinding and clenching, causing the jaw to misalign. Car accidents, falls and facial trauma can all be causes of TMD development as well.
Another interesting consideration is that TMD is likely a cause of the industrial revolution. Our teeth and jaws have shifted and changed as a result of how our diets and accents have evolved over time.
Whether you started developing TMD in your early life or as an adult, there are solutions. Contact Sleep Rehab today to request an appointment to help relieve your facial pain!
Comments Off on How TMJ Affects Us As We Age
March 13, 2021
Many people fall victim to headaches for a multitude of reasons. In fact, according to the WHO, “Half to three-quarters of adults aged 18–65 years in the world have had a headache in the last year and, among those individuals, 30% or more have reported migraine.”
The only way to get rid of these awful, nuisances are to get to the bottom of what is causing them. One of the causes of your headaches could be TMJ. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome is a disorder of the jaw muscles and nerves caused by injury or inflammation to the temporomandibular joint.
How do you know if TMJ is causing your headaches or migraines? Make note of these signs next time your head is pounding.
Over-exertion of your jaw
Have you noticed that your headaches are more prominent after chewing tough food or gum, talking for lengthy periods of time, or any other intense jaw activities? Your headache may be related to TMJ. According to a study in the Journal of Pain, “Painful temporomandibular disorders were associated with a higher primary headache frequency.” Using your jaw just a little too much may trigger the headache.
Do you clench your teeth before or after a headache? Let’s not rule out bruxism. Bruxism is unconsciously clenching or grinding your teeth while you’re awake or asleep. People who clench or grind their teeth (brux) during sleep are more likely to have other sleep disorders, such as snoring and pauses in breathing (sleep apnea).
Try the “Pencil Test”
Although it’s not infallible, a way to test whether or not your TMJ is the cause of your headaches is to hold a pencil in your teeth while you’re experiencing the headache. If you feel relief or a reduction in pain, it could hint that TMJ is the root cause of your head pain.
If one or more of these signs are hitting home or if you’re finally looking for a solution to your headaches, contact Sleep Rehab for a TMJ consultation. We’re here for you.
Comments Off on Is TMJ Causing My Headaches?