Do you suffer from daily headaches or migraines? Do you frequently wake with a headache, sore jaw or other facial pain? If so, your headaches could be caused by a Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMD.
Everyone has had a headache at some point in their life. Frequent or recurring headaches, however, are not normal and indicate a problem that could be dental related. Clearwater dentist Dr. Natasha Radosavljevic has advanced training and experience to diagnose and treat patients who experience headaches as a result of a TMD.
TMJ and Headaches
Headaches are among the most misdiagnosed conditions in medicine. Many physicians and patients don’t make a connection between headaches and TMJ disorders. TMJ headaches are thought to be a type of tension headache, most often caused by teeth clenching or teeth grinding. Because many patients grind their teeth at night, headaches frequently occur in the morning.
Symptoms of TMD
TMJ headaches are typically accompanied by other symptoms which may include:
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- Sore jaw or jaw pain
- Neck or shoulder pain
- Limited mobility in the jaw, locking jaw
- Popping noise in the jaw joint
- Pressure in the ear or earaches
TMJ Headache Treatment
Dr. Radosavljevic offers a wide a range of solutions for patients seeking a cure for TMJ headaches. In some cases, simple lifestyle changes can relieve pain. Dr. Radosavljevic can recommend stress relieving exercises and advise patients on eliminating triggers such as chewing gum that can aggravate the TMJ joints. Jaw stretching exercises may also be helpful to increase range of motion and relieve headaches.
Splints and Night Guards for TMJ Headaches
Dental splints and night guards are a highly effective treatment for TMJ headaches. Dr. Radosavljevic will often recommend this custom made appliance that will bring the teeth and jaw joints into proper alignment, prevent teeth grinding or clenching and alleviate tension. A dental splint is typically worn at night, though some patients benefit from wearing the device during the day.
Bite Correction Procedures
In addition to treatment of TMJ headaches using dental splints, Dr. Radosavljevic may perform bite correction procedures to bring the teeth and jaws into proper alignment. Dr. Radosavljevic may use a number of treatments including porcelain veneers or dental crowns.