If you wake up day after day with a headache and jaw pain, you could be one of the millions of people who suffer from a problem with the temporomandibular joint. TMJ/TMD is a disorder of the jaw joint which affects nearly a third of the American population. Diagnosed most often in women, TMJ/TMD is an oral health issue that is treatable with general dentistry.
For many people, the symptoms disappear on their own with little or no intervention. Others may require an oral appliance to guard against grinding their teeth while they sleep. Pain medication may be prescribed in some cases. Exercises have also been effective for many who suffer from TMJ/TMD.
The symptoms of TMJ/TMD vary from person to person. Some only experience headaches, while others may have associated pain in their jaw, neck, and shoulder. Some people have facial pain with the disorder as well.
The discomfort attributed to TMJ/TMD originates from fatigued jaw muscles and the associated tissues and muscles. This fatigue usually comes from grinding and/or clenching the teeth. This most often occurs during sleep. Upon waking the results are felt in the form of discomfort in the head, neck, and shoulder areas.