Orofacial pain covers a wide spectrum of symptoms and can be exhibited in many areas of the head and neck with the majority of complications associated with the temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). An essential part of routine dental examinations for all patients and the gold standard for the diagnosis of TMD is based on the patient’s history, clinical examination, and imaging when necessary.
The connection between airway issues, bruxism, and TMD (orofacial pain) is no longer a question of ‘if’. Instead, it is a question of proper evaluation and diagnosis by the dental and medical teams. As a dentist, you will often evaluate, refer, and possibly manage these issues impacting such a large percentage of the population. And, with a clear relationship, we look to understand that clenching or grinding of one’s teeth is a way for the brain to protect itself from suffocation during sleep.