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TMJ - Can't decide if I have it...

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Old 01-04-2009, 02:33 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Carleton Place, Ont
Posts: 1
Konowl HB User
TMJ - Can't decide if I have it...

Had yet another "episode" this morning, did a bit of research and was lead here.

Over the course of the last I'd say 2-3 months, 2-3 times per week I will wake up to my alarm with an EXCRUTIATING headache. It seems to start in the top molars of my mouth and extend behind my eyes. It is incredibly painful to even open my eyes when I have this morning headache, but it tends to disappate within 10 minutes or so, but will sometimes linger over the course of the day.

I used to get lockjaw when I was a kid with braces, but don't really anymore. The pain is more prevelant on the right side of my face (today at least), and I can feel the pain in my molars.

My dentist told me years ago that I'm a teeth grinder at night - could this be the cause of all this pain? Would a simple "mouth guard" help?

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Old 01-04-2009, 05:49 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Rockland County, NY
Posts: 3,231
Thelma-Louise HB UserThelma-Louise HB UserThelma-Louise HB User
Re: TMJ - Can't decide if I have it...

Before my tmj started I was clenching in the morning just before I was fully awake while I stretched and tossed about a bit in an effort to get up and turn off the alarm - but as soon as I was fully awake I would realize I had a headache and take 2 aspirins and it would ease up just before lunchtime although sometims it did linger all day long too. So yes, grinding or clenching can cause the morning headaches and wearing a night guard may help stop the grinding but some find it just gives them more to gnaw and grind on - but it will protect the teeth from the damaging affects of grinding and clenching. For some - grinding and clenching can be a learned habit or behavior in response to stress - although for the most part it may indicate an occlusion problem - but some have found changing their sleeping position, the use of a cervical pillow or sleeping less prone or with less pillows can often help as can biodfeedback and jaw and neck exercises at night before retiring. There are actually some sensor appliances that can be worn at night to wake one when they clench or grind to help break the habit or cycle as well.

Have you mentioned this to your dentist - it could be there is an issue with your bite on the one side - have you noticed any changes in the appearance of your teeth (rounded or very jagged edges, fractures or breakage, ridges) or tooth sensitivity, their position or feeling of mobility - these are sometimes signs of an occlusion problem. If you still have your wisdom teeth they could possibly be causing this as well.

Last edited by Thelma-Louise; 01-04-2009 at 05:50 PM.

Old 01-04-2009, 10:06 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 7
scrimshaw HB User
Re: TMJ - Can't decide if I have it...

You might try a muscle relaxant as well as the night guard. I know that flexeril has helped me a lot, and I haven't even gotten the night guard yet.

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