Category Archives: Sore Mouth
Approximately 40% of otherwise healthy individuals suffer from chronic headaches, and about one in eight North Americans suffers from recurring headaches that are so severe they interfere with normal life. It has been estimated that 80% of all headaches occur from muscle tension. You may be surprised to learn that many tension headaches are related to your bite. It may feel as though you’re wearing a steel hatband, or it may be a dull ache on one or both sides. Your headaches may be dental in origin if you experience:
- Sore jaw muscles when you wake up
- Teeth grinding
- Jaw joints that click or pop
- Head or scalp that’s painful to touch
If your physician has ruled out other possible causes, and you suspect the cause might be your bite, contact a dentist for an examination.
This post is the sixth in a series of seven posts regarding common dental problems.
Brushing and flossing daily will go a long way toward keeping your teeth and gums healthy. But sometimes trouble arises even when you do everything right (blame bad genes or bad luck). Here are the issues you should be on the lookout for and what to do to keep them at bay.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)
TMJ is a group of conditions that affect the temporomandibular joint, just below the ears and above the jaw. Sufferers may clench or grind their teeth subconsciously, often at night.
Who’s at risk?
About twice as many women as men are believed to have TMJ, most commonly during their childbearing years. People who are under a great deal of stress are also more prone to it, or a sever injury to the jaw may cause the condition. It’s usually not chronic, though it can become so. TMJ can lead to worn-down and sensitive teeth, as well as other painful symptoms, such as a sore jaw, headaches, neck aches, and earaches.
What to do
See your dentist if you feel pain when you chew, find that your jaw has limited movement, or have radiating pain in your face, neck or shoulders. Treatment may be as simple as relaxation exercises, cold compresses, ibuprofen, and avoiding foods that require serious chewing. To train yourself to stop clenching and grinding your teeth, the Mayo Clinic recommends “resting your tongue upward with your teeth apart and your lips closed.” To stop nighttime grinding, your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard.
Almost all of us grind or clench our teeth occasionally. But excessive heavy grinding, or bruxism, can lead to both painful jaw and dental problems.
Many people brux when sleeping, leading to sore and tired facial muscles, jaw joint disorders, worn down tooth enamel, and damaged dental restorations. We still don’t know what causes bruxism, but most researchers believe that both emotional and physical factors are involved. Stress is at the top of the list.
To help relieve stress, cut down on caffeine, and generally try to ease up on yourself. Bruxism can cause serious cosmetic problems for your smile and your general well-being. We can help you in a variety of ways. We can design a customized plastic mouth appliance that interrupts grinding and protects the teeth. For the wear damage, we can fuse veneers to the front surfaces of your teeth. For extensive wear, we can crown your teeth. Please come and see us for a complete diagnosis. And try to relax and smell the flowers!