I’ve been having horrible jaw pain in the mornings, along with headaches. I looked up some of my symptoms and it sounds like the problem could be TMJ related. I mentioned it to my sister-in-law. She thinks the whole thing is a scam made up by dentists and that a simple whole foods diet will take care of my problem. She’s really big on the whole foods thing anyway, so I’m not sure how much I buy into her idea. I noticed you treat TMJ. What type of success do you have in helping patients with it?
Many things can be fixed by a whole foods diet, but TMJ isn’t one of them. In fact, it can exacerbate the problem. Consider you’re having jaw pain, then you start chomping down on a carrot. It will likely make the pain worse from the strain.
Sometimes TMJ can be tricky to solve, but it can be solved. It’s a matter of figuring out the source of the problem, not merely treating symptoms. You mentioned that your jaw pain is worse in the morning and you have headaches. That is usually a symptom of TMJ.
In fact, it sounds like you probably grind your teeth at night. You wouldn’t realize you were doing it because it happens in your sleep. But, an astute dentist would be on the lookout for that and inform you that your teeth are ground down.
A simple mouth guard can be custom designed for you by your dentist. Make sure he’s done extensive TMJ studies as a post-graduate. If not, you may be better served to visit another dentist just for this issue.
Depending on how ground down your teeth are, you may find you need some crowns, but if you’re catching it early enough, you could be fine.
Let untreated, this can lead not only to severe migraines but lockjaw and broken teeth, which you’ll need to completely replace.
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