The American Academy of Craniofacial Pain estimates that more than 3/4 of headaches are caused by muscle tension. In many instances, this tension can be a result of a TMJ disorder or occlusal disease.
If you experience frequent headaches, be sure to mention them at your next visit to Lanier Family & Cosmetic Dentistry. Our dentists Dr. Alla Brown and Dr. Amanda Newberry are experienced with the diagnosis and management of headaches caused by dental related problems.
The Connection Between Headaches & Dentistry
A common symptom of TMJ disorder is frequent headaches. These “TMJ headaches” typically occur in the morning because of clenching and grinding at night. Other symptoms associated with TMJ headaches are:
- Tension or pain in the temporal region
- Pain in the neck or upper shoulders
- Migraine or migraine type headaches
- Chronic earache (without infection)
TMJ Headache Therapy
If you suspect that your headaches are caused by TMJ, teeth grinding or other dental problem, the first step is an evaluation with the dentist. Your dentist will review your dental and medical history and examine the fit of your bite and alignment of the TMJ.
Depending on the dentist’s findings, one or several treatments may be recommended. Treatment may include an oral appliance, such as a TMJ mouthguard, and/or bite correction therapy which would solve problems with the alignment of teeth and TMJ joints.
A TMJ mouth guard, also known as a bruxism appliance, is a removable mouth guard that covers the teeth while you sleep. Patients who have frequent headaches often benefit from this type of treatment which can reduce teeth grinding or clenching.
When the teeth don’t make proper contact, it can create stress and tension. Headaches can easily result from maligned occlusion, which is typically corrected through a series of adjustments to bring the upper and lower teeth into proper alignment. This type of therapy can include reshaping the teeth, orthodontics, and restorations such as crowns, bridges or implants depending on the severity of your condition.