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 from muscle tension. In many instances, this tension can be a result of a TMJ disorder or occlusal disease. Are you suffering from 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 from dental related problems.
TMJ Headache Therapy in Buford, GA
Dr. Brown and Dr. Newberry offer TMJ Therapy in Buford, GA. If you suspect that your headaches are caused by TMJ, teeth grinding, or other dental problems, 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, they may suggest one or several treatments. 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.
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)
Patients can have their temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dislocated, injured in a blow to the head/jaw area, or it may not be aligned correctly within the jaw. These are all problems that 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.
Teeth grinding, which usually occurs at night and can damage the teeth as well as the soft tissues of the mouth, can lead to TMD symptoms. Teeth grinding places 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 Headaches FAQs
Can TMJ cause headaches every day?
Many patients with TMJ suffer from headaches daily, depending on the severity. Patients may report headaches and migraines anywhere from multiple times per week, to multiple times throughout the day.
Can TMJ affect your brain?
TMJ can even cause many issues beyond one’s jaw and oral health. It can also change the chemicals and anatomy of a patient’s brain, disrupting brain function. It is associated with headaches and migraines.
What does a TMJ headache feel like?
TMJ headaches typically feel dull and achy in the lower portion of your head. They are normally worse on the side of the head that TMJ is worse, but can be on both sides as well. Many patients’ TMJ headaches turn into migraines and can be chronic.