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You’ve spent most of the last 8 hours staring at a computer. Now you have to deal with afternoon traffic before you get home.
You would just like to relax to get rid of this headache. It seems like you’ve been dealing with it all day, and if you are being honest, the headaches are becoming more frequent, too.
Sometimes you notice them at work. Sometimes you wake up with a headache. You want to believe it’s because of the project you are working on, but you know another one is waiting for you after this one is finished.
It’s time to call someone who can help. It’s time to call the dentists of Sunrise Dental, who have offices in Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh, and Cary.
You need to find out if you may be suffering from a TMJ problem.
How TMJ Feels
We can examine your mouth and jaw to help diagnose TMJ problems, but you may want to be aware of the symptoms.
TMJ is an abbreviation for temporomandibular joint. TMJ problems can manifest themselves in a variety of ways. If you have a TMJ problem, then you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
All these problems could be the result of a TMJ, but the best way to be sure is to talk to someone at one of our offices. We want to help you find relief.
What Causes TMJ?
TMJ problems, and in more severe cases TMJ disorders, can arise for a number of reasons.
You may suffer from arthritis, or you may have an infection of some kind.
Traumatic injuries can lead to TMJ problems as well. This can be the result of a direct impact, such as getting hit in the face with a ball, or indirectly through an injury, like the whiplash you could experience in an automobile accident.
Another common cause of TMJ problems is bruxism. This is when to clench your teeth or grind your teeth together.
And what is one of the most common reasons for teeth clenching and grinding? It’s stress.
Know Your Stressors
Think back over the last few weeks and months. Have your headaches become more frequent or more intense?
When do you notice your headaches? In the mornings? When you are at work? When you are having a family problem, perhaps with your spouse or your children?
According to the Mayo Clinic, people experience two kinds of stress.
Acute stress can arise from everyday situations like going on a job interview or having to give a presentation.
On the other hand, chronic stress is a more persistent problem. It can increase your risk for other health issues, and it can cause headaches.
Clenching or grinding your teeth may be how you are coping with the stresses of your life, even if you aren’t aware that you are doing this. Millions of Americans grind their teeth in their sleep or as an almost unconscious response to stressful situations.
You are putting extra pressure on your TMJ as well as the muscles around your joint when you clench and grind your teeth. This may explain your headaches and other pains you have been experiencing.
If you visit one of our offices, we will examine your teeth for signs of clenching and grinding. We also can help you deal with TMJ problems that arise due to bruxism.
One option is to create a mouthguard that you can wear at night.
- Pain in your jaw
- Pain in your neck
- Pain in your face
- Pain in your shoulders or upper back
- Headaches (including migraines)
- Limited jaw movement
- Temporary inability to move your jaw
The mouthguard will prevent your top and bottom rows of teeth from touching, which means you won’t be able to clench or grind them together.
The guard also helps by elongating the muscles around your jaw. This gentle stretching can help your muscles relax, when can help ease the pains that you are feeling in your jaw, face, and other areas.
Each mouthguard is custom-fitted. This should make the mouthguard more comfortable for you and give you the best results.
Talk To Us About TMJ
You can continue living with your headaches and jaw pains, or you can contact Sunrise Dental to get help. Our dentists in Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh, and Cary are ready, willing, and able to help you.
To make an appointment, click on the name of the office to fill out an online appointment form or call the number to get started.