Sinus Problems Stemming from TMJ Disorder

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Is it TMJ or a sinus headache? Are sinus problems part of TMJ? Read on to learn more...

Millions of people around the world suffer from sinus issues, and many symptoms of a sinus problem overlap with those of TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJD). If you have TMJ, experiencing sinus problems can exacerbate your TMJ. It’s important to know the difference, though, since each problem must be treated differently. Research shows that the majority of TMJ patients find measurable relief from painful symptoms like sinus discomfort using noninvasive methods. One way to address both conditions is to get a TMJ mouthguard from CustMbite. To learn more about the connection between TMJ, sinus problems, and how a custom-fit mouthguard can help, read on.

How can I tell if I have TMJ or a sinus problem?

Whether your sinus-related symptoms are caused by TMJ or not, you’ll need to address their root cause. Symptoms like headaches, facial pain, tooth pain, earaches, dizziness, and restless sleep are common in both. In fact, sinus pain itself is a symptom of TMJD. Because of the position of the sinuses, it can be tricky to tell whether you have sinusitis or TMJ. However, there are a few questions that you can ask yourself to figure out whether your sinus pain is caused by sinusitis or may be TMJ-related:

Are you noticing neck and shoulder pain?

  • Feeling tense can be a symptom of both TMJ and a sinus-related condition. The tension caused by TMJ is usually due to a misalignment of the joint, whereas sinus headaches are usually the source of tension.

Do you have facial congestion or a feeling of fullness?

  • Inflammation related to chronic sinusitis and sinus infections often gives people a feeling of fullness or swelling on the front of the face. This is often a good indicator of a sinus headache.

Have you noticed thick or discolored nasal discharge?

  • When your sinuses are inflamed, it can prevent the natural flow of mucus. This is a sign that your headache might be due to a sinus infection.

Have you experienced changes in your ability to taste or smell?

  • When you have sinusitis, your sinuses may be unable to drain. “Full” sinuses can affect your sense of taste and smell. 

Does your headache get worse if you lie down? 

  • A headache that gets worse when you lie down is an indicator of sinus inflammation and congestion. This symptom is primarily associated with sinusitis.

When you open your jaw to speak, chew, or yawn, does it lock open or closed? Do you hear clicking and popping?

  • Sounds and unusual behavior that’s focused on the temporomandibular joint are the symptoms that have the closest association with TMJ. These symptoms are generally an indicator of more advanced TMJ.

Are you clenching or grinding your teeth at night?

  • While sinus headaches are painful, they are not typically related to teeth grinding and clenching (also known as bruxism). TMJ, however, can cause nighttime teeth grinding or clenching as your teeth will naturally try to realign themselves.

When you talk to a dentist or doctor about your symptoms, be sure to mention anything unusual, even if it seems unrelated. It’s important to treat the whole issue, particularly if your sinus problems are caused by TMJ. For those with chronic sinus issues, wearing a mouthguard is often recommended to help curb sinus-related bruxism. If your sinus issues are caused by TMJD, a dental healthcare professional can recommend a course of treatment that’s right for you. Before recommending surgery, most dentists will suggest a variety of noninvasive methods, including TMJ exercise, relaxation techniques, and TMJ mouthguards.

What’s the link between TMJ and sinus problems?

The temporomandibular joint is located just in front of your ear, and it’s one of the most complex joints in your body. Its ligaments, bones, discs, and muscles intertwine to allow you to glide and open and close your mouth. Your face is also home to several sinus cavities behind the forehead, between the eyes, deep within the skull, and within the maxilla, which forms the cheek and upper jaw. Because the sinuses are virtually incorporated into the jaw, It can be hard to distinguish between pain caused by TMJ and pain caused by a sinus infection. 

Can TMJ cause sinus problems?

While TMJ won’t cause sinus problems, the symptoms of existing sinus problems can make TMJD worse. Nasal congestion and bruxism can trigger snoring and restless sleep. Sinusitis can cause breathing problems because of congestion, leading you to breathe with your mouth open. This pulls the jaw out of its natural resting position, which can stress the jaw and contribute to bruxism, or teeth grinding. Sinus issues like allergies can also cause sneezing, an action that can cause your jaw to click or pop, or even dislocate entirely. 

What should I look for in a mouthguard for TMJ if I also suffer from sinus issues?

The roots of TMJ are frequently related to a misalignment of the jawbone. The temporomandibular joint is the only joint in the body that has something preventing it from closing entirely: your teeth. When it’s doing its job properly, your bite feels natural. However, if your jaw is misaligned, your bite will be, too. What’s worse is that if your jaw is out of line, your teeth will unconsciously try to pull it back into place, causing bruxism. Teeth clenching and grinding is one of the most common symptoms of TMJ and can cause enamel wear, jaw soreness and fatigue, and even cracked and broken teeth. 

At CustMbite, our goal is to make the best mouthguard for TMJ available to everyone. We provide dentist office-quality TMJ mouthguards at a fraction of the price. Working together with dental professionals, we created a unique fitting material called VistaMaxx. VistaMaxx is thin and flexible, yet extremely durable. A CustMbite TMJ mouthguard can be molded in just a couple minutes’ time using only a microwave and remolded just as easily. It provides unmatched comfort, and allows you to speak, drink, and breathe with ease - something especially important for those who also suffer from sinus problems. And to clean it? Just toss it in the dishwasher and you’re done. 

CustMbite offers the best mouthguards for TMJ-related sinus problems and more

Sinus problems are one of the most disruptive symptoms of TMJ, and it’s critical to be proactive about your course of action. A proper diagnosis from a dentist can help you to make decisions as to which treatments are right for you. Wearing a TMJ mouthguard is highly recommended by dentists because of their efficacy and ease of use. At CustMbite, we give you the best of all worlds - comfort, quality, and affordability. To experience the comfort of a custom-fit guard, buy a CustMbite TMJ mouthguard of your own.

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