How does sleep affect pain?
Did you know that poor sleep influences your perception and reaction to pain? A recent study published in the Journal of Neuroscience revealed that sleep may actually make you more sensitive to pain. Matthew Walker et al. (2019) performed a study that illustrated changes in neural processing among sleep deprived individuals. The researchers took functional MRIs (fMRI) of participants’ brains after they slept for eight hours and fMRIs after they were awake for 24-48 hours. In
What is TMJ and do you have it?
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
Do these migraine triggers affect you?
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
10 Things Only People Suffering From TMJ related Orofacial Pain and TMD Will Understand
TMJ related orofacial pain is extremely common and uncomfortable. Do you identify with these symptoms? 1) Waking up with headaches is a daily occurrence. 2) Your cheeks and temples are tender and sore. 3) Sometimes it is painful to close your mouth. 4) You can't even think about biting down on a bagel. 5) Your bite feels off and funny. 6) Your neck feels sore and sometimes the pain radiates to your back. 7) It hurts to yawn. 8) It hurts to talk. 9) It hurts to chew. 10) It hu
Wait Grinding Your Teeth Can Change The Shape of Your Face?!
Yes! You read that correctly. Hold on, Hold on. I'm confused. Okay, let me explain. Like every area of your body, your face is lined by muscles, including the muscles that support and line your jaw. Specifically, the masseters are muscles in the face that are important in opening your jaw. If you exercise or over-work them, they will change in size and shape, just like if you work out your biceps. Using your masseters normally, like using your arms normally, will not affect
Are Women More Likely to Suffer from Orofacial Pain?
Interestingly, orofacial pain sufferers are predominantly women. Why? We don't completely understand, but one proposed theory relates to the hormone estrogen. Studies indicate that estrogen levels may be associated with varying levels of inflammation associated with the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). Additionally, female jaw muscles are more prone to injury and exhaustion as they actually receive less blood flow and thus less oxygen. So? What's the significance with less oxy
Can a Dentist Treat Headaches?
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
Why do I grind my teeth at night?
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is extremely common, especially at night when people are sleeping. But, why? Why do people grind their teeth at night? Although we do not completely understand why we grind our teeth, we believe that stimuli that may arouse the brain during sleep may contribute to bruxism, such as daily stress, anxiety, a painful medical condition, and obstructive sleep apnea. Considered a sleep movement disorder by the Academy of Sleep Medicine, nocturnal bruxism
Physical Therapy Can Play Important Role Following Radiation for Head and Neck Cancer
Individuals who have been treated with radiation for head and neck cancer are at an increased risk for Radiation Fibrosis Syndrome (RFS). The syndrome can develop at any point following a course of radiation, which means symptoms can begin long after treatment has been completed. What is RFS and Why Does it Occur? Radiation is designed to go after cancerous cells, but it can negatively impact non-cancerous cells. In the case of RFS, the non-cancerous cells can have alteration
Trigger Point Injections...what's that?
Trigger point injections are sometimes an indicated treatment for jaw muscle pain and pain associated with radiation fibrosis syndrome. What are trigger points? Trigger points are, an essence, knots that form in muscles. They are spasms or localized areas of inflammation that may result from injury, radiation treatment, muscle strain or overuse. Trigger points may be extremely painful when they are active. Other times, though, trigger points may remain latent and asymptomatic