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Posts Tagged ‘headaches’

What Types of Dreams Make Us Grind Our Teeth?

In Dental Care on December 21, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Nobody wants to wake up ready for a brand new day with a headache this big…

If you all too often wake up with a headache or jaw soreness, teeth grinding at night could be the cause. Whatever dental dreams may come throughout the night, be it bad or good, sometimes our vivid dreams cause us to clench and grind our teeth.

Teeth grinding or bruxism, is not some phase only kids go through, and neither bad nor good dreams are the probable primary culprit when it comes to grinding our teeth at night.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the cause of bruxism is not completely agreed upon, but daily stress may be the trigger in many people.

Some people probably clench their teeth and never feel symptoms.

Whether or not bruxism causes pain and other problems may be a complicated mix of factors: Get Clear Savings on Vision Care

  • How much stress you are under
  • How long and tightly you clench and grind
  • Whether your teeth are misaligned
  • Your posture
  • Your ability to relax
  • Your diet
  • Your sleeping habits

Everyone is different and treatments vary depending on risk factors, severity, even environmental concerns.

Our best bet it to of course do the internet research we’ve all grown accustomed to, and put way to much stock into…but also talk to our dentists. An actual face to face conversation, we still have them right?

Self-Treatment Options – courtesy of U.S. National Library of Medicine:

  • Apply ice or wet heat to sore jaw muscles – either can have a beneficial effect.
  • Avoid eating hard foods like nuts, candies, steak.
  • Drink plenty of water every day.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Learn physical therapy stretching exercises to help restore a normal balance to the action of the muscles and joints on each side of the head.
  • Massage the muscles of the neck, shoulders, and face. Search carefully for small, painful nodules called trigger points that can cause pain throughout the head and face.
  • Relax your face and jaw muscles throughout the day. The goal is to make facial relaxation a habit.
  • Try to reduce your daily stress and learn relaxation techniques.

If we’re feeling the pressure in the morning – beyond normal make the kids breakfast, get them to school, go about life pressure – our best bet is to talk to our doctors and dentists about headaches or jaw pain.

TMJ disorder or TMD is no picnic, but with the help of dentists and sleep medicine professionals, we don’t have to suffer or only treat the pain apsects.

Other Treatment Options – courtesy of

  • Massage Therapy
  • Stress Management
  • Splints & Mouthguards (not the sports ones…see dentist!)
  • Correcting Misaligned Teeth
  • Surgery (usually last resort)
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Yes…even Botox®

For even more treatment options and better yet – insights on what to ask your dentist, check out this video:

And let us know what types of dreams you think make us grind our teeth…

Stem Cells to Relieve Mouth and Face Pain?

In TMJ on July 12, 2011 at 4:30 AM

With technological advancements come new ways for the dental and medical communities to figure out how to make – and keep – us healthy. The application of stem cells for use in medicine has long been a pointed subject, sure to generate a debate even amongst the most impartial audience.

Dental stem cells, and the use or application of them in dentistry or medicine is not a debate we’re looking to sow here. Rather, we just aim to highlight the recent advancements in stem cell application that can benefit us, as dental patients.

Research into the harvesting and application of dental stem cells is still a relatively new field of study.

Some scientists, researchers, and doctors say we should run right out and start banking our stem cells wherever possible. Others of the same ilk recommend we wait for more research to prove the long-term viability of collecting and using dental stem cells.

Fact is, the use of dental stem cells has not yet been approved by the FDA. Until these two divergent politically influenced sectors of the stem cell argument join forces to improve health care rather than increase health care propaganda, we as the dental patient public are held in limbo.

Will dental stem cells enable us to instantaneously relieve pain, or generate a new tooth in a petri dish?

According to this article on stem cells and dentistry published last week from DentistryIQ;  Research from Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine shows for the first time that a particular type of stem cell, bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs), can suppress orofacial pain rapidly — within one day of treatment — by either IV injection of cells or direct injection of cells to the injured site.

That sounds like very promising – although admittedly preliminary – results.

The DentistryIQ article goes on to mention how, in rat models, the pain never came back after stem cell injection. But in the untreated group, the pain lasted up to 22 weeks, or the length of the experimental period.

The Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine researchers simulated two types of pain: myogenic pain (by ligating, or tying up, the masticatory muscle tendon) and neuropathic pain (by tying up the nerve on the face).

Stem cells successfully reduced pain in both cases.

As noted in the article you can read here, clinical trials to treat recalcitrant orofacial pain is the next step toward the widespread application of what could be the biggest dental breakthrough since the invention of the toothbrush.

For more dental stem cell info, click over to this article on stem cells and dentistry, written by Bruce
G. Freund, DDS.

You can also click here to see the wealth of stem cell info provided by the National Institute of Health!

Can a Trip to the Dentist Cure a Headache?

In TMJ on May 26, 2011 at 4:30 AM

With Obama across the pond this week it’s turned into a good opportunity to showcase some beneficial dental news out of the U.K.

For a lot of us when we have a headache we take a couple of aspirin or ibuprofen and wait for the pain to ease. We probably don’t think about talking to our dentist when it comes to suffering from chronic headaches.

According to the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain one in eight Americans suffer from recurring headaches that are so severe they cannot carry out normal living!

The AACP also says headaches are our number one pain problem in the United States. Approximately 40% of all “healthy” individuals suffer from chronic headaches.

What does that have to do with the U.K.?

In a recent article (or press release) from, TMJ is said to affect one in seven people in the U.K.

The article goes on to mention how the Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr. Nigel Carter, believes this information serves as a timely reminder to arrange a visit to the dentist during Britain’s National Smile Month, which runs until 15 June 2011.

That’s 15/6/11 cheers very much!

Dr. Carter recommends: “If you suffer from continual headaches or migraines, especially first thing in the morning, pain behind your eyes, sinus pains and pains in the neck or shoulders, you should consider visiting your dentist, as well as a Doctor, as soon as possible.”

Here’s a link to the article…and be sure to take a look at the first comment from one of the readers.

Really, no matter what dental malady befalls us, and no matter what type of expert we’re dealing with – whether it’s a financial advisor, house painter, or cardiologist – any one of them would probably tell us it is certainly recommended that we do our homework before taking any major steps…At least the true professionals would say so.

A few things to review before seeking TMJ treatment could be the dentists’ credentials, any specialized or continuing education, and actual patient experience.

If you experience regular headaches, it certainly can’t hurt to at least ask your dentist about possible causes, associated symptoms, and possible treatment avenues.

Unless we’re talking about such a touchy topic as politics given the forum, opening the dialogue can never be a bad thing can it?

Sources: American Academy of Craniofacial Pain,