These Five Things Can Cause Toothaches

​A recent survey revealed that about 12 percent of the American population had experienced toothache within the past six months. This condition is characterized by pain around the tooth, or pain that feels like it may be originating from inside or under the tooth, which can be caused by a variety of dental health problems. Sometimes, this may be th...
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How to Sleep with TMJD

​If you've been following our blog, we recently discussed how sleeping positions can affect sleep apnea. While sleep apnea is just one of the many conditions we are capable of handling here at Dr. Norman's office, we feel we should shed some light on how to sleep with temporomandibular joint disorder as well, considering how painful the condition o...
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Can TMJD Affect the Throat?

​Have you ever wondered why they call the temporomandibular joint the "small joint that can cause big pain"? It's because of just how much can go wrong when anything affects this complicated joint. The temporomandibular joints, or TMJs, sit on both sides of the jaw, acting as a hinge between the skull and the jawbone. You can feel them by placing y...
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Effective Home Remedies for TMJ Relief

​What if there's actually something you can do at home to reduce the pain of your temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJD, considerably? Truth is you'll need to seek medical care from a professional to find lasting relief to the pain that comes with TMJ disorders. That's why we recommend you visit Dr. Norman and the Dream Smile team for effective...
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Deep Bite: Causes and Correction

​When teeth are obviously crooked or crowded, many people know to seek orthodontic treatment to correct the issue. But, patients are not as likely to seek out treatment or be overly concerned about their deep bite or overbite issues. Many might not even know what a "deep bite" is or why it is a problem, but dental professionals would argue that thi...
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What a Grind!

​A lot of health problems can be attributed to stress. In fact, stress-related health issues have become so prevalent that the American Psychological Association has committed a lot of resources into studying it. Although teeth grinding can be caused by various things, including broken or missing teeth, misaligned bites and sleep disorders, it's wo...
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TMJ Disorder: Are Women More Susceptible?

​Over the years, research has supported the idea that women are at a higher risk of developing the painful symptoms of temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, disorder in comparison to men. New research suggests that misalignment of the temporomandibular joint could be linked to hormones, and this is what could be making women more susceptible. Here are a...
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TMJD Patients: What Not to Eat

​If you suffer from a TMJ disorder, you know the pain that can occur on a bad day when your jaw is feeling extra sore or your head and ears are aching. It's important to understand which foods can trigger this flareup of pain and which foods are safer to eat when you want to control symptoms as much as possible. It may seem obvious, but many of us ...
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Stress Relief Tips for TMJ Disorder

Many people who suffer from temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJD, may find that their stress is causing them more complications and pain as they clench their jaws or even grind their teeth at night. Learning to manage stress can help alleviate some of the symptoms of TMJ disorder naturally. Here are a few tips to try to integrate into your dai...
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September Is Pain Awareness Month: Don’t Ignore Tooth or Jaw Pain

​September is National Pain Awareness Month, which means it's a great time to talk about an often overlooked but very common area where people experience pain: the jaw and teeth. When tooth or jaw pain strikes, many people try to just wait it out and hope it goes away. However, in the long run, you could do serious damage to your oral health by ign...
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The Balancing Act of Bite and Body

The relationship between how your jaws close and your posture is a delicate balancing act according to a September 2016 study by the University of Barcelona. This study examined the relationship between dental malocclusions and 10 participants’ physiological complaints about their balance, flexibility and range of motion. Study findings show a misaligned jaw impacts more than the mouth.

Malocclusion means "bad bite" and includes missing teeth, gaps and crowding. Most people have a varying degree of malocclusion as a result of genetics, the effects of poor dental hygiene, or injury. The study confirmed that these complaints improved when malocclusions were corrected by using physiologic dental techniques to ensure the alignment of the jaw was corrected to a neutral position.

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Physiologic dental treatment gives TMJ sufferers a new lease on life.

The National Institute of Craniofacial Research estimates that over 10 million people in the United States suffer from a painful temporomandibular joint dysfunction, commonly known as TMJ. TMJ causes pain in the face, neck and ears and makes chewing painful or difficult. The disorder can cause clicking or popping sounds when opening and closing the mouth or while chewing. Some TMJ sufferers also report that their jaws can lock closed which can make opening the mouth difficult.

TMJ is a physiologic disorder that impacts the temporomandibular joints. The temporomandibular joints are located on each side of the face where the lower jaw connects to the skull. The construction of the temporomandibular joint is unique compared to other joints, because of its hinge action coupled with its ability to slide. The joint is also made up of cartilage and has 2 small disks known as condyles that serve to cushion bones when the joint is engaged.

TMJ occurs when cartilage becomes worn, or when the jaw shifts out of place. These conditions allow the jaw and the temporomandibular joint to painfully rub against each other when in use. Other causes of TMJ include arthritis, injury and behaviors such as grinding teeth.

The pain associated with TMJ can be intermittent or long-lasting. Numerous TMJ patients experience long lasting, chronic pain coupled with ringing in the ears, dizziness and vision problems. TMJ sufferers often feel their quality of life is diminished because of TMJ and its many side effects and believe that the pain impacts their jobs, relationships and their ability to participate in activities or interests. Many patients, despite their pain and discomfort, do not seek out professional treatment to treat or cure their TMJ symptoms.

TMJ patients may not seek professional care for TMJ pain because symptoms are sporadic. Many sufferers manage their pain with over the counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen. Relaxation techniques, cold therapy and limiting jaw movement also can also help ease symptoms for some people. While these self-care treatments help patients temporarily manage their TMJ pain, they do not treat the underlying cause of the disorder. Other patients seeking care from professionals may find themselves redirected back to self-care treatments to manage their symptoms, become frustrated and give up hope of leading a pain-free life.

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Headaches and Physiologic Dentistry

Headaches are one of the most common symptoms of TMJ, also known as tempromandibular joint disorder. The pain and discomfort can become unbearable, disrupting a patient’s day to day life and making everyday tasks impossible to perform. While treating the symptoms with pain medication can provide temporary relief, it’s not a permanent solution. Dr. Norman often recommends a physiologic dentistry approach for her patients suffering from headaches as a result from TMJ.

While traditional dentistry primarily focuses on the teeth, gums and bones, physiologic dentistry concentrates on the hard and soft tissues, muscles and nerves and why these components must work in sync with one another to function properly and pain-free. If you haven’t heard of physiologic dentistry, it’s not surprising. This form of dentistry is finally starting to gain traction in the dental field. Dr. Norman explains to her patients that it’s a type of dentistry that “focuses on the healthy relationship among the teeth, jaw joints, and head and neck muscles. Physiologic dentistry treats TMJ at its root cause, not at its symptoms.” And that’s why it’s proven to be successful for TMJ-related headaches.

Physiologic dentistry focuses on correcting and realigning a patient’s bite and jaw. When the jaw is misaligned, it creates unnecessary tension which can trigger headaches or migraines. Repositioning the jaw to an optimal position and realigning the tempromandibular joint can significantly alleviate the painful symptoms associated with TMJ, most notably, headaches.  

 If you suffer from TMJ-related headaches, contact our office today at 425-339-9145 to see if you’re a candidate for physiologic dentistry.