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The Link Between TMJ Disorder and Nighttime Clenching

Stacy’s Note: This is a guest post written by Lee Weinstein, inventor of the SleepGuard biofeedback headband. Lee has designed hospital medical equipment for Hewlett Packard, and has taught electrical engineering at MIT.

For many people,  TMJ symptoms stem from habitual teeth clenching during sleep.

You may have heard of the term “sleep bruxism”, which includes both clenching and grinding. Everyone who grinds his or her teeth clenches as part of the grinding, but not everyone who clenches grinds. The grinding part causes tooth wear, but most of the problems of TMJ Disorder come directly from the clenching.

In this article we’ll take a look at three main things:
1. Why clenching causes so much more damage than chewing.
2. How diverse symptoms such as migraines, jaw pain, neck pain, TMJ joint problems, loose teeth, receding gums, and root canals can all come from clenching.
3. How nighttime clenching becomes a habit (and why the clenching habit remains even when you remove the original cause).Read More »The Link Between TMJ Disorder and Nighttime Clenching

10 TMJ Disorder Tips from a Physical Therapist

Editor’s note: I’m excited to bring you our first guest post on TMJ Hope. We’re always looking for interested patients, professionals, and others to tell their stories. If you would like to guest post on TMJ Hope, please contact me! Without further ado…. our first guest! Cynthia is an experienced physical therapist, and author of the book, “The TMJ Healing Plan: Ten Steps to Relieving Headaches, Neck Pain, and Jaw Disorders.”

TMJ Tips from a Physical Therapist1. Less is Best
I agree with the National Institute of Health (and TMJ Hope!) who say, “Less is often best in treating TMJ Disorders”. You would be wise to explore your safe, conservative, reversible and cost-effective options before making any permanent changes to your bite, undergoing surgery, or spending exorbitant sums of money.
2. Posture
I feel that trying to treat your head, neck and jaw without addressing your posture would be like giving you a car without any tires. If your posture is out of balance or alignment, it can adversely impact your jaw, neck and head. You need to address your posture in sitting, standing and sleeping. My patients with the worst jaw joints are often those who sleep on their stomach or on their side with their hand or arm pressing on their face. Try sleeping on your back. You could benefit from seeing a specialized orthopedic physical therapist to help you evaluate your posture and alignment. Many patients with TMJ Disorders don’t realize they have loose joints and hyperextend their knees. If your joints are loose you need to learn to unlock your knees and protect and stabilize your joints including your jaw.
Read more TMJ tips from Cynthia…
Read More »10 TMJ Disorder Tips from a Physical Therapist