At Smiles Dental Arts of Cudahy CA, we have a thorough understanding of the complexities of craniofacial pain. We help treat conditions such as TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain and dysfunctions (also known as TMD – temporomandibular joint dysfunction), primary headaches (such as migraines, tension and cluster headaches), facial neuralgias, musculoskeletal pain or a combination of the above.
TMJ Head and Facial Pain: Treatments, Causes, and Symptoms
TMJ pain is a very real condition caused by disturbances in the functioning of the jaw. Research shows there are many factors which may lead to this disorder and although it can occur alone, it is usually part of a more complex problem. There are many types of trauma which can cause TMD, simply we can split them into two categories of ‘macro’ and ‘micro’ trauma. Certain ‘macro’ traumatic injuries may cause TMD including car accidents, sporting injuries or accidental falls. ‘Micro’ traumatic injuries relate to clenching or grinding (bruxism) most nights which are damaging to the jaw joint itself and fatigues the muscles used to stabilise the joint as a result of ‘overworking’ which can lead to head, face, jaw and muscle pain. Unlike popular belief, bruxism is not normal and actually classified as a medical condition under the banner ‘movement disorders’. There are many things which can cause bruxism, however we believe a significant reason is related to insufficient oxygen whilst sleeping (a sleep breathing disorder) which may yet have been identified.
Everyone assumes they are breathing adequately during sleep and oxygenating their body sufficiently, however, few recognize that nighttime bruxing can be an unconscious effort to prevent suffocation. This bruxing throughout the night over extended periods of time wears down the skeletal structure and joints, overworks the muscles which result in TMJ pain, TMD, headaches, musculoskeletal pain and facial neuralgias.
If you think you have sleep apnea, come see us at our Cudahy CA dental office to know if we may be able to help you.