You wake up with a headache for the third time this week. You take some aspirin or ibuprofen before hoping in the shower.
You decide that you will hit a drive-through on the way to work. You order a biscuit and sausage and your morning coffee. You take a bite, but trying to chew it leaves your jaw feeling sore.
You give up on the biscuit. At least you’ve got your coffee to get you through the morning.
You’re meeting a friend for lunch at that new pizza place that just opened. After you settle on a pizza to split, you start catching up. After eating one slice your jaw is too sore to continue. You don’t want your friend to know, so you try to eat another piece.
Back at work, you take some more aspirin and try to get through the afternoon.
When you get home, you decide to stick with soup for dinner. You don’t have to chew it, so you figure it won’t make your jaw sore, either.
If any of that sounds familiar, stop and call (407) 603-3839. You need to make an appointment at our dentist office in Orlando, FL. You may be suffering from a TMJ disorder.
Recognizing TMJ Disorder Symptoms
TMJ disorders affect your temporomandibular joints. If you aren’t just what these are, place your hands on each side of your face. Now, open and close your jaw. You will probably be able to feel these joints moving.
TMJ disorders can affect one or both of these joints, and as we saw in our introduction, this can disrupt your entire day.
Waking up with a headache doesn’t necessarily mean you have a TMJ problem. A lot of other things can cause headaches, too, so how can you figure out if your TMJ is contributing to this problem?
You can look for others symptoms, such as:
◼︎ Jaw pain when you wake up
◼︎ Jaw pain during or after eating
◼︎ Frequent earaches
◼︎ Feeling like you can’t open or close your jaw completely
◼︎ Feeling like your jaw becomes stuck at times
◼︎ A popping or clicking sensation when you open or close your jaw
◼︎ Pain in your face, neck, shoulders, and/or upper back
You may experience one of these symptoms or several when you have a TMJ disorder. Different people are affected in different ways.
How Can You Deal With TMJ Issues At Home?
Many people will experience TMJ issues during their lives. This may be a temporary issue, or it may develop into a disorder.
You may want to try these things first.
If your jaw feels tight or hard to move, applying heat can help loosen the muscles around the jaw. If your jaw feels painful or swollen, applying an ice or cold pack can reduce the swelling and numb the pain.
If you have pain after eating, you may want to stick to softer foods for a short time to see if that alleviates the pain. When you feel better, you can try eating more solid foods again.
And you can take a pain reliever to provide relief, too.
If you notice the pains return when you stop your home remedies or if the pains persist in spite of these changes, then you should make plans to visit our dentist office in Orlando, FL.
How Can Dentists Help With TMJ?
Teeth grinding is often a factor in TMJ disorders. (It may not be the only factor, but it often contributes to the problem.)
Many teeth grinders do this without realizing it when they are asleep. If you frequently wake up with headaches in the morning, this may be why. Researchers have found that people who grind their teeth can put 500 pounds of pressure or more on their jaws. (That’s double the pressure of a typical human bite.)
You can control what you do when you are asleep, but you could wear a night guard.
This is a kind of mouthguard designed to do two things. First, it creates a barrier so you can’t grind your teeth together. Second, it may change the resting position of your jaw to alleviate the pressure you create.
Ease Your Pain
You don’t have to live in with the pains that come with teeth grinding and TMJ disorders. Our team at Overmeyer Family Dental wants you to live as pain-free as possible.
To find out how we can help, fill out our online contact form or call (407) 603-3839 to schedule an appointment soon.