Do you suffer from constant headaches? Do your headaches stop you from going out with friends or even going to work? You’re not alone. Millions of people worldwide experience chronic headaches and migraines. There can be many causes for migraines, but you may not have considered that your jaw may be the problem. Many headaches, especially ones that you experience when waking, can be caused by TMJ disorder. If you’ve tried every treatment with no luck, try asking your dentist about your chronic headaches.
What Is TMJ Disorder?
Have you ever heard of TMD? If not, it’s not surprising – few clinicians are properly trained to recognize these disorders. TMJ disorder, also known as TMD, is short for tempromandibular joint disorder. The tempromandibular joints are the joints that connect the upper and lower jaw. TMD refers to a variety of problems with these joints, rather than a specific condition. TMD can affect the nerves and muscles of the jaw, neck, and head, and can cause all sorts or problems. Including headaches!
Causes of TMD
TMJ disorders are a complex group of disorders, so it’s hard to give one cause. There are some common factors, however, at the root of many TMJ problems:
- Face, head, or neck trauma, particularly trauma to the joints themselves
- Hormonal changes/imbalances
- Poor bite
- Stress and tension
Headaches and TMD
Headaches are just one of the symptoms of TMJ disorders, but they are one of the most common. When the jaw is poorly aligned, your muscles fight against each other and create a lot of tension. The tension can cause headaches. Stress and tension can also cause you to clench your jaw, causing more problems. It can be hard to diagnose TMJ headaches because they are similar to headaches with other causes, but keep an eye out for these symptoms:
- Early morning headaches, or headaches upon waking
- Pain specific to the temples or the back of the head
- Radiant pain to the neck, shoulders, and upper back
- Grinding or clenching teeth
Dr. Karl Neuhaus and Dr. Walter Neuhaus specialize in treating TMJ disorders. Dr. Karl Neuhaus studied at The Dawson Academy focusing on TMD and bite problems, so you’re in good hands! The first step in your treatment will be a bite analysis to determine whether your headaches are in fact TMJ-related headaches. If so, treatment revolves around improving jaw alignment. The most basic treatment is a TMJ mouthguard, or bite splint. The mouthguard will keep your jaw aligned in your sleep and prevent teeth grinding. Your custom-fit mouthguard should be comfortable and easy to adjust to.
If a mouthguard isn’t enough, Dr. Neuhaus may recommend bite correction. Depending on your unique mouth, this could involve a combination of tooth bonding, crowns, veneers, or implants. Bite correction should improve your jaw alignment to make your smile beautiful and help you sleep comfortably.
Schedule an Appointment
If you suffer from chronic headaches, odd are you’ve tried almost every treatment out there. Try TMJ therapy too! Drs. Neuhaus at Creekside Dentistry and Implantology in Amherst, NY are experts in the field that look forward to giving you relief from persistent TMD symptoms. Contact our office online or at (716) 262-8070 and schedule a consultation today.