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Saturday, August 4, 2018

The TMJ-Headache Connection

A misaligned bite can have consequences beyond the mouth. At the orthodontic offices of Dr. Gregory Ross, we also provide support for dental sleep medicine. By correcting bite problems, we can reduce the frequency with which patients get certain kinds of headaches.


Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD or TMJ) are dysfunctions of the hinges that connect the lower jaw to the head. They often develop as a result of bruxism, or night time teeth grinding. There are several reasons why people may grind or clench their teeth, including obstructive sleep apnea and mental stress, but discomfort from misaligned bites is a contributing factor. As people strain their jaw muscles and wear down the cartilage in their temporomandibular joints, pain may radiate or be deferred to their shoulders, necks, and the tops of their heads.


By correcting misaligned teeth, we enable them to rest comfortably together while the patient sleeps. However, bruxism caused by other factors may still damage them, which is why we also assist patients with custom-fitted night guards. These oral appliances prevent the teeth from rubbing together. The aligners used in Invisalign treatment are worn at night and achieve the same effect.


To learn more about Ross Orthodontics, visit Smiles by Ross. Offices are located in Forest Lake, Minnesota and Hudson, Wisconsin.


 

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