Frequent headaches? Earaches every day? You may be suffering from TMD
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. Are you suffering with recurring headaches or earaches that seem to have no definitive cause? Do you wake up with neck or facial pain or tightness in your jaw area? You may be one of many who are suffering unknowingly from a Temporomandibular disorder (TMD), commonly referred to as TMJ.
If you experience frequent headaches, be sure to mention them at your next visit to your dentist in Buford, GA. 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 disorders 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)
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can become dislocated, be injured in a blow to the head/jaw area or may not be aligned correctly within the jaw. These are all problems which can lead to developing TMD and the symptoms associated with this oral health problem. Because these symptoms are not those we usually think of when it comes to a dental health issue, TMD can often go undiagnosed and may eventually cause some common oral health problems like gum disease.
The symptoms of TMD can frequently be caused by teeth grinding which usually occurs at night and can damage the teeth as well as the soft tissues of the mouth. Teeth grinding can place stress on the TMJ and cause it to “pop” when moving the jaw. This type of stress on these muscles can also cause the jaw to lock up, making it difficult to chew or yawn. The tension created in this area is what often leads to headaches and earaches that are more noticeable upon waking.
TMJ Headache Therapy in Buford, GA
Dr. Alla Brown offers TMJ Therapy in Buford, GA. 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 mouthguard, 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.