• September 21, 2015

Have you been suffering with a headache or migraine that doesn’t seem to have a source? You might be surprised to learn that it’s coming from your mouth! At Shorewood Family Dental we see a lot of patients who have headaches, jaw pain, and tense muscles. All of these patients have the same problems: teeth grinding and temporomandibular joint disorder!

It might seem surprising but both of these conditions can cause serious headaches and migraines. Getting relief from the pain they cause can be as simple as a trip to our Shorewood dentist office! You may be surprised at how easy it is to get a better night’s sleep and live pain free!

What Is Causing My Headaches?

There are a few ways that your teeth could be causing headaches. First is teeth grinding, or bruxism. The worst part about bruxism is that you may not even know you suffer from it! Most people afflicted by this condition grind their teeth at night while sleeping. Bruxism can disturb your sleep but most people don’t notice it unless someone sharing their bed makes a comment about it!

Bruxism can cause pain in your temples and jaw, worn out teeth, pain and muscle fatigue in the morning, and marks in the tongue due to clenching of the jaw. Bruxism can lead to worse conditions like cracked and fractured teeth, tooth decay due to lost enamel, and other painful conditions. That’s why it’s so important to treat it as soon as it’s discovered!

You could also be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. TMD can exist along with bruxism and can also be caused by it but neither are necessary. TMD involves problems with the joints that connect your jaw to your skull and can be incredibly painful!

If you’re suffering from TMD you may experience lockjaw, severe headaches, muscle pain in your jaw, neck, shoulders, and back, difficulty chewing, and other uncomfortable conditions. For many people a diagnosis of TMD is surprising, which is exactly why we need to see you at our Shorewood dentist office if you’re experiencing these symptoms!

Treating Your Headaches

At Shorewood Family Dental we make diagnosing and treating your bruxism and TMD simple. We’ll perform a series of tests to be sure that you’re suffering from one of these conditions before we prescribe a treatment – we’re confident that we can finally end your discomfort!

  • Bite tests that measure the forces applied in different areas of your mouth can give us a detailed analysis of any bite problems that could be causing your pain as well as any pain you experience when you bite down.
  • Digital X-rays will give us a clear picture of your tooth and bone structure. These can help us get a better picture of any cartilage loss or tooth damage caused by bruxism and TMD.
  • Cone beam scans can give us a 3D picture of your mouth with unrivaled clarity. We’ll be able to see the entire structure of your jaw and face, which can help us diagnose and eliminate other possible causes.

Once we know you’re suffering from either TMD or bruxism we’ll proceed with a simple treatment that works for almost all patients suffering from these conditions: mouthguards!

We offer a couple different mouthguards depending on your diagnosis. If you’re suffering from bruxism we’ll prescribe you a custom fit sleepguard that cushions your jaw and keeps it in a comfortable position while you sleep. It’s a soft rubber material so any continued clenching or grinding will just be cushioned away! The position of your jaw will also encourage muscle relaxation during sleep.

For TMD we prescribe a bite splint that sits between your front few teeth. Because your jaw position is a common cause of TMD pain wearing the splint places your jaw in a comfortable position that will relieve your pain and help you wake feeling rested and ready to greet the day without pain!

Don’t Live In Pain Any Longer!

If you’re suffering from the pain of bruxism or TMD don’t wait another day – the solution you need could be one trip to our Shorewood dentist office away! If you’re ready to finally get the relief you need call us at 815-768-1615 or request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!