As an orofacial and TMJ dentist, I spend a considerable amount of time with patients who grind or clench their teeth during the day and/or at night. Bruxism is the medical term to characterize grinding or clenching of the upper and lower jaw. Though we do not completely understand the etiology behind nocturnal bruxism (grinding or clenching at night) in all patients, we know that certain behaviors, medications and conditions may predispose an individual to nocturnal bruxism.
Patients often present complaining they have TMJ, but the truth is they are not using the correct terminology. TMJ is an acronym for the temporomandibular joint, and you don’t just have one, you have two! The TMJ is the joint that connects the mandible (lower jaw) to the skull or more precisely the temporal bone. Every person has a right and left TMJ. Often, when people say they have TMJ, they are incorrectly referring to temporomandibular mandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD
Migraine headaches are extremely debilitating and uncomfortable. Often, certain triggers can elicit a migraine headache. How many of these triggers affect you? 1) Stress. Did you know that stress and anxiety can trigger migraines? Even sometimes a rapid reduction in stress can result in a migraine. 2) Certain Foods. For many individuals, certain foods may trigger a migraine headache. Foods such as diet drinks, red wine, aged cheeses, chocolate, bananas, nuts and shellfish may
Going to the dentist to treat my headaches? What? I know what you are thinking. The dentist just treats teeth, how could a dentist help me treat my headaches? Surprisingly, though, a dentist may be just the healthcare professional that can help treat your headaches depending on the etiology of your headaches. For example, trauma to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the joint that connects the maxilla (upper jaw) to the mandible (lower jaw) may lead to headaches. The TMJ may