Ten years ago, or roundabout, I was sitting in a dentists chair having a mouth impression taken because I was diagnosed as having ‘Bruxism’ which was causing me to have something called ‘TMD’. I would need to wear a mouth guard throughout the night so that I would stop grinding my teeth. This was giving me a really painful jaw ache, worn down teeth and headaches.
So what is ‘TMD’? The full name for the condition is ‘Temporomandibular Disorder’, (try saying that when you’ve had 3 glasses of wine), and is a condition that affects the movement of the jaw. It’s the hinge bit that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, which are in front of your ears. It allows you to move your jaw to speak and chew. The signs of ‘TMD’ are pain around your jaw, earache, clicking and popping sounds when you move the jaw, headaches, and difficulty opening your mouth and chewing.
It can be caused by teeth grinding, as I’ve just mentioned, wear and tear of the joint, a blow to the head or face and stress.
Well my experience of it ties up with a condition called ‘Bruxism’ which is the cause of my jaw pain. ‘Bruxism’ or ‘Teeth Grinding’ is often caused by stress and anxiety. Mine came on a few weeks ago after I had had a few restless nights. I awoke with pain in my temples, jaw pain and sore gums, and I put it down to teeth grinding when I sleep because I’d had it before and I knew what the symptoms felt like.
It can be quite difficult at first, if you have never been diagnosed with this to pinpoint what exactly it is that may be causing the pain in your jaw and teeth. The headaches seem to occur in your temple area where the movement of the jaw occurs throughout the night. I have noticed sometimes, during the day as I go about my business, that I am clenching my teeth without realizing it, which can be quite disconcerting because I wonder what exactly it is I am stressing about.
My next step is a visit a dentist to have another mouth guard fitted, it that’s whats required again so that the pain can subside. I’ve always had a clicky jaw when I eat anyway, so it’s probably something I’ve always had a problem with.
So if you wake in the mornings with jaw pain, headaches, a sore mouth or an earache, don’t rule out the fact you could be grinding your teeth whilst you sleep x