Headaches are a common medical occurrence that people deal with on a daily basis. In addition to treating many dental concerns our patients suffer from, we provide treatment for frequent headaches. However, if you experience frequent headaches, it is important to find the source and properly treat them.
TMD, or temporomandibular disorder, is a condition that affects your jaw and the surrounding facial muscles. One of the common symptoms is headaches which are constant and frequent. Dr. Elizabeth Duling offers treatment for TMJ headaches in Owen’s Cross Roads, AL for patients that suffer from TMD.
About TMJ Headaches
TMJ headaches are hard to diagnose since not everyone knows they have TMD. You may think you simply have another headache however there is a way to tell if it is due to TMD. A type of tension headache, TMJ headaches typically start where the jaw hinges on each side of the face and then travel up to the temple. While your pain level can vary, it will typically remain in this area.
Common Causes of TMJ Headaches
A TMJ headache is a type of tension headache. They are often a result of stress that is put on the jaw joints and the surrounding facial muscles. This stress on the jaw is mostly caused by teeth grinding, teeth clenching, and an unaligned bite.
Symptoms of Headaches Caused by TMJ Disorders
- Jaw pain or tightness
- Pain in the temples or back of the head
- Morning headaches
- Pain in the shoulders, neck, and upper back
- Migraine-like headaches
- Teeth grinding or clenching
TMJ Headaches Treatment
Mouthguard and Night Guards
A TMJ mouthguard is also known as a night guard. It is a removable oral appliance that you can have made by your dentist. You will wear it at night to prevent teeth grinding and clenching. They work by separating the teeth so the teeth cannot make contact which will help relax the jaw. Less tension in the jaw will result in less frequent or no headaches.
Your dentist may see that your teeth are out of alignment which will result in TMD and headaches. Restorative dentistry treatments are often used to help your teeth connect properly and align your bite. With a proper bite, you will no longer place stress on your jaw joints and your TMJ headaches should disappear. Dr. Duling may use dental bonding, dental crowns, dental bridges, or other treatments to align your bite.
Dr. Duling offers several forms of clear aligners that can realign your bite. We offer ClearCorrect™ and Invisalign® both of which involve wearing clear aligners for several months. You will switch them out about every week or two to gently move your teeth into proper alignment. These aligners are clear and more comfortable compared to metal braces.
We also offer Six Month Smiles which are essentially braces with several differences. The brackets are clear and light and the wires match the natural color of your teeth. This will make these braces very discreet while they shift your teeth into their proper position.
These orthodontic treatments will properly align your bite making your top and bottom teeth connect correctly. Patients should feel less strain on their jaw joints and muscles and begin to experience fewer TMJ headaches.
If you experience headaches often, especially in the morning, schedule an appointment today with Dr. Duling. She will analyze your bite to determine if you have TMD. Our dental practice offers many services to treat TMJ headaches in Owen’s Cross Roads, AL. Call our dentist office at 256.202.4186 or schedule your next appointment online by filling out the form.