TMJ & Migraine Therapy and Bruxism Treatment

Bruxism Treatment

TMJ & Migraine Therapy 


Bruxism Treatment 

Most people probably grind and clench their teeth from time to time. Occasional teeth grinding, medically called bruxism, does not usually cause harm, but when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis the teeth can be damaged and other oral health complications can arise.

Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?

Although teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety, it often occurs duringsleep and is more likely caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth.

How Do I Find Out if I Grind My Teeth?

Because grinding often occurs during sleep, most people are unaware that they grind their teeth. However, a dull, constant headache or sore jaw is a telltale symptom of bruxism. Many times people learn that they grind their teeth by their loved one who hears the grinding at night.

If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth, talk to us dentist.  We can examine your mouth and jaw for signs of bruxism, such as jaw tenderness and abnormalities in your teeth.

Why Is Teeth Grinding Harmful?

In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may wear their teeth down to stumps. When these events happen, bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures may be needed.

Not only can severe grinding damage teeth and result in tooth loss, it can also affect your jaws, result in hearing loss, cause or worsen TMD/TMJ, and even change the appearance of your face.

What Can I Do to Stop Grinding My Teeth?

In our office, we can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding during sleep.

If stress is causing you to grind your teeth, ask your doctor or dentist about options to reduce your stress. Attending stress counseling, starting an exercise program, seeing a physical therapist, or obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants are among some of the options that may be offered.

Other tips to help you stop teeth grinding include:

  • Avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as colas, chocolate, and coffee.
  • Avoid alcohol. Grinding tends to intensify after alcohol consumption.
  • Do not chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food. Avoid chewing gum as it allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching and makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
  • Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth. If you notice that you clench or grind during the day, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This practice trains your jaw muscles to relax.
  • Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe

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TMJ & Migraine Therapy

What is TMJ/TMD?

Temporomandibular joint disorders, TMJ/TMD, are inflammations in the jaw commonly caused by regular teeth grinding that result in the swelling of the jaw joint. As this occurs, muscles become displaced and can adversely affect the teeth, gums and bone structures of the mouth if left untreated. People with TMJ/ TMD sometimes experience a clicking or popping sound when opening and closing their mouths. Due to the nerve pressure cause by muscle displacement, TMJ/TMD is often accompanied by frequent headaches, necks aches, and in some cases, tooth sensitivity. Serious conditions resulting from TMJ/TMD include improperly aligned joints, dislocated jaws or even an arthritic condition of the jaw joint.


Migraine Headaches - One of the most common symptoms of TMJ/TMD

TMJ/TMD (temporomandibular joint) problems manifest themselves in a variety of ways. One of the most common symptoms of TMJ/TMD is a headache. The most common type of headache is a tension headache. Many people who suffer from this type of headache describe it as a ring of pain around the head. Others will refer to it as a migraine headache.

TMJ/TMD related headaches are caused by a complex mechanism. Essentially, there is a constant contraction of the muscles in the jaw. This creates a tension or pressure in the face, head and neck. The constant tension in the muscles reduces the amount of blood that is able to reach the area. The body responds by sending more blood to the area, which results in an increase in blood pressure to the muscles of the head, thus a headache..

Common TMD/TMJ Symptoms

If you suffer from any of the following symptoms, a neuromuscular dentist may be able to help you!

Clicking or Popping Jaw Joints


Facial Pain

Headaches / Migraines

Jaw Pain

Limited Jaw Movement or Locking Jaw

Neck and Shoulder Pain

Numbness or Tingling in the Fingers, Hands and Arms

Tinnitus (Ringing In The Ears)

Sensitive and Sore Teeth

Sleep Apnea

How a Neuromuscular Dentist Can Help with Headache Treatment, Solutions and Relief

Headaches are one of the most common symptoms of a TMJ (temporomandibular  joint) problem. Tension headaches are the most common type of headache, and the TMJ headache is a tension type of headache. It is often described as a feeling of wearing a hat two sizes too small, with pain in a ring around the head, or as a migraine headache.

There are a few TMJ-related causes for tension headaches. Constant contraction of muscle fibers within a muscle, create tension, pressure or a tight feeling in the face and head, but constant tight muscle fibers prevent or reduce blood flow to that area. The body sends more blood to the areas and this can result an increase in general blood pressure to the muscles and head, sometimes referred to as vascular headaches. Clenching and grinding the teeth, which are TMJ symptoms, produce pain from the muscles in the head, which is a headache.

Unfortunately, these headaches can be so frequent or severe that they are frequently misdiagnosed and treated as migraine headaches.

The pain from muscle headaches can be blocked with medications, or nerves cut with brain surgery or muscles somewhat relaxed with muscle and psychological therapy, but the cause of the disease and damage from the bad bite, malocclusion, will persist. Side effects with medications, complications from brain surgery, and limited results with muscle or psychological therapy do not correct the source of the problem. Neuromuscular dentistry ensures the muscles are happy because they do not have to work hard positioning the teeth to a strained bite.

By putting the temporomandibular joint back into alignment and placing the jaw into its optimal position, neuromuscular dentistry can provide solutions to most headache problems related to TMJ, muscle, nerve and joint disorders. In this way, Neuromuscular dentists can help with TMJ pain treatment and migraine headache relief.

Benefits of Neuromuscular Dentistry 

To put it simply, neuromuscular dentistry places the jaw into its optimal position, relieving the symptoms associated with TMJ. While traditional dentistry evaluates primarily the teeth, bones, and gums, neuromuscular dentistry works with the hard tissues and the soft tissues, muscles and nerves. Neuromuscular dentists understand that your hard and soft tissues have a complex relationship and work to make that relationship a harmonious one. Neuromuscular dentists understand the necessity for including the power source (muscles) and the controls (nerves) which create the movement, pressures, and function of the mouth. 

When the jaw is misaligned, both the hard and soft tissues are affected and many physiological problems can result, such as headaches, jaw pain, neck and shoulder pain, tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, and clicking or popping sounds in the jaw joint. In a number of cases, these symptoms are the result of TMJ (temporomandibular joint syndrome), also referred to as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) or MPD (myofascial pain dysfunction). 

TMJ / TMD is a chronic degenerative disease that often takes years to develop. TMJ affects millions of people. People who suffer from TMJ have an imbalance in the jaw-to-skull relationship, which is caused by a bad bite (malocclusion). 


Neuromuscular Dentistry serves to correct the bite and realign the jaw. 

First the dentist determines the optimal position of the jaw by measuring the relaxed position of the head and neck muscles, and then repositions the jaw to achieve those exact measurements. 

Find a TMD Dentist

Malocclusion is relatively easy to correct. TMJ Syndrome treatment options include adjusting the bite, orthotics, orthodontics, or restoring the teeth to their correct positions. 


Patients of neuromuscular dentistry experience a range of benefits from decreased or eliminated pain and discomfort to better overall health and longer-lasting dental restorations. 

How Neuromuscular Dentists Diagnose & Treat Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome 

When the teeth, facial muscles, and temporomandibular joints are out of alignment, the symptoms of what have been identified as TMJ / TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome or Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction) arise.  

If you are suffering from TMJ symptoms, know that you are not alone! Although the vast majority of North Americans suffer from TMJ, most do not relate their pain and/or symptoms to a “bad bite”. Many people with TMJ are not diagnosed as having TMJ and are not treated correctly as a result. 

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