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7 December 2016

Solutions for headaches or a painful jaw in Surbiton.

Many of us will have felt a click in the jaw, or perhaps a little discomfort from time to time which goes on to rectify itself fairly quickly. For others though, the pain can be more severe and long lasting. This is often the case when the person are suffering from TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) disorders.

It is thought that one particular cause of this problem may be the result of teeth grinding, or bruxism which can lead to a range of distressing and painful TMJs.

What is the Temporomandibular Joint?

The temporomandibular joint connects the bottom jaw to the base of the skull on each side of the head and can come under particular strain when the patient grinds their teeth. As teeth grinding tends to happen most commonly at night whilst asleep,this can make it difficult to diagnose and manage, as often, people are not aware that they are even doing it.

Bruxism puts strain on the tissues, muscles and other structures around the jaw and can lead to temporomandibular joint disorders that are characterised by pain around the jaw, a clicking or popping noise when you eat, yawn or speak and difficulty opening the jaw with the sensation that the jaw is stuck.

Also common with TMJ disorders are headaches and migraines, dizziness and muscle spasms around the sides of the face. It can also lead to pain away from the jaw, known as referred pain, to areas such as around and in front of the ear, cheek and temple, an earache, and an aching pain around the neck and shoulders. Occasionally the jaw can get stuck in the open or closed position, which can cause considerable pain. Temporomandibular joint disorder can be unilateral, that is, on one side of the face only, or bilateral, meaning both sides of the face.

Bruxism causes the temporomandibular joint to be overworked which exerts considerable pressure on the joints and muscles that support the hinged joint, causing pain. The pain caused from a TMJ disorder can lead to overuse of painkillers, poor quality of sleep, stress and depression. It is not uncommon for sufferers to complain of fatigue, stiffness, and extreme tenderness around the joint.

Whilst these disorders are not life threatening in any way, the symptoms can cause considerable pain and distress to sufferers, and have a negative impact on their quality of life.

How we can help

At the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton, we offer our patients a number of types of dental splints which can help to correct, or at least relieve this problem. Depending on the situation, we may recommend either a Soft Bite Guard, a Michigan Splint/Tanner Appliance or a SCI splint. These splints work by both preventing the teeth from grinding together whilst asleep, but also allow the jaw muscles to relax too, relieving the tension and tightness often associated with this condition.

If you suffer from jaw pain or even headaches or migraine, it may be that you have a TMJ problem. The first step in treating this problem, of course, is to diagnose it and an appointment with your local Surbiton dentist will allow us to do just that.

Please call the Confidental Clinic on 020 8399 1291 to arrange your appointment today.

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