General Dentistry, Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, Hudson Valley, New York 12603

TMJ and headache therapy

Patient wearing a nightguard used to alleviate jaw stiffness and headaches caused by grinding the teeth

arrow_up Patient wearing a nightguard used to alleviate jaw stiffness and headaches caused by grinding the teeth

Patients sometimes complain of jaw stiffness or headaches upon awakening in the morning. These symptoms are just two of the signs of Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Dysfunction or MyofacialPain Dysfunction (MPD), where the lower jaw does not fit properly in the joints or the bite is unstable or the muscles are in spasm.

If you clench or grind your teeth together for a long time, you will commonly have pain and stiffness in the jaw. The discomfort is similar to having leg cramps at night or after doing strenuous exercise. You may also have difficulty opening your mouth or have headaches.

One of the disorders associated with grinding (known as bruxism) is sleep apnea. The thinking is that the jaw is bruxing to move the tongue forward and open the airway. This condition should be treated with an oral applicance or a CPAP.

The challenge is to diagnose the problem correctly and then lessen the stress on your joints. Dr. Maron can customize a variety of appliances for you to wear to help treat this problem. Here are several examples:

  • Nightguard (NTI)—This plastic device fits on two front teeth. It works by preventing your back teeth from touching. The FDA has approved it for the treatment of migraine headaches.
  • Hard occlusal appliance—This device is our preferred treatment. Its proper adjustment allows equal contacts of all teeth to help take pressure off the temporomandibular joints.

Did you know?

Dr. Maron can make a simple appliance to decrease nighttime grinding of the teeth and the headaches that result.


"His level of care and attention to detail is outstanding."


Did you know?

Obstructive sleep apnea can shorten your lifespan by 8-10 years. Dr. Maron makes appliances to treat sleep apnea. Call today for your free consult.