It’s the holidays. Why are you waking up with an aching jaw and a headache?
While the holidays can be wonderful, it’s no surprise that they cause stress to increase. According to the American Psychological Association, women experience more holiday stress than men, with 44 percent of women reporting an increase in stress. Top stressors were lack of time and financial pressures.
This Mayo Clinic article offers some helpful tips for reducing holiday stress.
Our Whitmore Dental team often sees a key impact of stress, whether during the holidays or at other times of year: bruxism or tooth-clenching. Our patients report waking up with a tired, aching jaw or experiencing painful headaches. That’s no way to spend the holidays!
In addition to the contributions of stress, the root cause of bruxism is often a person’s bite—issues with how the teeth fit together and the force applied in various areas. Bite problems affect health of your jaw as well as your trigeminal nerve—the major nerve controlling sensations in your face, and also involved in chewing and swallowing.
We use a high-tech scan (a T-1 scan) to measure how much force is being applied by your bite and to detect any problems. For many of our patients, short-term use of an orthotic can relieve bruxism and pain. An orthotic is a horse-shoe shaped piece of plastic that is precisely designed to correct your bite issues. It’s designed to subtly blend with your smile.
For other patients, we continue with a second phase of treatment, where we address bite issues through use of more permanent solutions, such as adding crowns or bonded porcelain. In addition to dental care, neuro-muscular treatment has also helped many of our patients, including physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, and massage therapy.
If you are concerned about your tooth-clenching, headaches or jaw problems, contact Janet or Rachel at Whitmore Dental at 877-779-4486. We are conveniently located at 5932 West Parker Road, Suite 600, Plano, TX 75093.