Does Your Jaw Hurt and Feel Exhausted

Looking for a Way to Get Jaw Pain Relief?

Pain in your jaw can be caused by several things, but one common factor is that it is caused by the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). When you have jaw muscle pain, you probably have other problems with pain, too, as well as being tired frequently. These symptoms point to an all too common problem.

A Tense Jaw

Jaw pain is often a result of grinding your teeth while you sleep, also known as bruxism. Tensing your jaw and grinding your teeth at night – or in the day – places a strain on the TMJ, causing muscle pain. It may also result in jaw problems such as a constant jaw ache. You may also get headaches, TMJ disorders, and damaged teeth.

Bruxism can cause severe damage to your teeth. It can cause chipping, fracturing, flattening of your teeth, and may make them loose. Some teeth may also become painful and sensitive to hot or cold. If you have dental repairs, it could damage fillings, crowns, veneers, and permanent dentures.

Stress and TMJ

One of the biggest reasons for grinding the jaws is stress. Many people find that the more stress they have, the more they will grind their teeth, making the muscles even more tight and painful. This can lead to sore jaw muscles, ear pain (which is probably actually coming from the joint in front of the ear), difficulty when opening the mouth, jaw popping, and possibly an improper bite and jaws that no longer line up as they should.

Complications of Bruxism

Jaw pain may also be an indication that you have sleep apnea. This problem is caused by a temporary partial or complete blocking of the airway as your loose throat muscles collapse into the air passage, closing it off. When this occurs, you will usually wake up briefly to start breathing again, but it will be so short that you will not remember it.

This is what is probably causing the constant fatigue. It is a symptom of it. Even though you may think that you are getting enough sleep, the breathing problems are preventing you from entering into the deeper stages of restful sleep.

Men are more likely to experience bruxism than women. Among the people who have sleep apnea, as many as 25 percent of them will also grind their teeth.

Lifestyle Changes Needed for Sleep Apnea

Along with some treatments that the dentist can provide for sleep apnea, certain lifestyle changes may also help. Four changes that may help include:
  • Quit smoking

  • Lose weight

  • Treat nasal allergies

  • Avoiding alcohol.

Mouth Guards

Grinding your teeth at night can severely damage your teeth when it is continued for a long time. A mouth guard from your dentist (customized), can help protect your teeth, and it will also help to provide relief for your jaw pain. A customized version from the dentist, as opposed to one bought at the store, will also help to reduce the strain on your jaw.

The dentist may provide you with a splint instead. This is a specialized mouth guard that will move your lower jaw forward a little. It will also help to relieve jaw joint pain. You may need to wear it 24/7 for some time.

Treatment for Sleep Apnea

In order to determine whether or not you have sleep apnea, you will need to have a sleep test. This can be done at a sleep lab or at your own home. If you do it at home, equipment for it will need to be obtained from a sleep doctor. Once you have obtained an official diagnosis, you can be properly treated for it. Diagnosis will determine the cause and how frequently you stop breathing, or if you have some other kind of sleep disorder. There are two types of sleep apnea, and treatment for it will depend on which type you have and how severe it is.

Sleep apnea needs to be treated because it can have some serious complications – including death. One of the primary problems is that it causes a lack of oxygen in the body. In addition to constant fatigue, it can also cause the following health problems:

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • High blood pressure

  • Heart attacks

  • Stroke

  • Heart failure

  • Diabetes

  • Depression

  • Headaches

The dentist can provide you with a mouth appliance that will help you with sleep apnea. Many people prefer these devices to a CPAP machine because they do not need to be plugged in or connected to anything else. You also do not need to be concerned about disconnecting something if you turn over in your sleep.

If you have frequent or ongoing jaw pain and are looking for TMJ treatment or jaw pain relief, you can contact Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board Certified Periodontist. He can provide you with various treatments and customized mouth guards to help with bruxism and sleep apnea. He has offices in the Carrollton, TX and Grapevine, TX areas. For a consultation or dental treatment for better oral health, you can contact his office today at (817) 756-8578.