Stop waking up in pain.
It’s common for people to chalk up their poor sleeping habits to anxiety, poor mattress, a partner who snores, a pillow that’s too hard or too soft, or maybe you just can’t shut your brain off. When it comes to waking up in constant TMJ pain: ear pain, neck pain, headaches and/or migraine, you don’t need to suffer endlessly—hoping it goes away. What many don’t realize, is that sometimes there could be physical, more detrimental things going one while you’re sleeping, all pointing to TMJ. Sometimes what you may perceive as tension, is really symptoms of TMJ. What you could be doing in your sleep:
- Grinding your teeth [Bruxism] This involves moving the jaw excessively while the teeth are held together. Substantial visible wearing of teeth can be evident to patient and dentist.
- Clenching There is no visual aid to determine that you are doing this like there is with grinding one’s teeth. This is extensive, substantial muscular activity in the jaw that can eventually lead to severe soreness and pain—as well as damage to the jaw joint.
The truth is, when you are asleep, you have very little control of these issues that can truly define your chronic waking pain(s). You need to be medically assured that your jaw is as relaxed as possible. But, how do you do that when you are in a deep sleep? A custom-made appliance (night guard) that fits exactly to your mouth can make a huge difference, decreasing your facial muscle activity while you’re sleeping. A store mouth guard is not a solution to TMJ. They may seem like a quick and economical fix, but they are intrusive and bulky, leading to discomfort in your mouth as they shift during the night. They are also soft and chewable which actually stimulates even more activity. It’s crucial that you have your appliance custom-made so it feels comfortable, naturally reducing your facial muscle activity. I go over this with every patient in great detail to assure you that this appliance will be right for you and will ultimately free you from your pain, as it did for these recent patients: “I no longer have a migraine every day that I can hardly open my eyes to get out of bed because I was clenching my jaw all night…” – Sarah Emke [Google Review]. “Dr. O’Day is very knowledgeable. My ear pain and headaches are almost gone due to the oral appliance he recommended.” – Tina Merritt [Facebook Review]. My office staff will also check your insurance to see if you have a rider that might even cover all or some of the cost. See our other blogs on this subject matter: [Athletic Mouth Guard, Great For Sports, Not For TMJ], [Review Your Medical Coverage]. A nightguard custom-made appliance can give you not only the sleep you’ve been preventing yourself from having, but it can free you from your TMJ pain. The Doctor will free you now. Dr. Francis O’Day