Do you suffer from headaches every day? Do you frequently wake up in the morning with a sore jaw or migraine headache? If so, your headaches could be caused by a Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD). TMJ headaches are often overlooked or misdiagnosed by physicians.
Plano, TX dentist, Dr. Jacob Grapevine has special experience diagnosing and treating patients who suffer from TMJ headaches and can create a personalized treatment plan to eliminate pain and prevent the wear of teeth. Schedule a consultation today at our Plano, Dallas, and Frisco, TX area dentist office if you think you may be suffering from TMJ disorder related headaches.
TMJ and Headaches
Many physicians and patients don‚'t link dental problems or TMJ disorders with headaches. Headaches caused by dental problems often result from malocclusion or unbalanced bite. The headaches may result from teeth clenching or teeth grinding, which often occurs during sleep, causing the headache or migraine to occur in the morning.
TMJ Headache Symptoms
TMJ headaches are typically accompanied by other symptoms which may include:
- Teeth grinding or clenching (you may notice your teeth are worn or chipped)
- 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
Splints and Night Guards for TMJ Headaches
Dental splints, mouth guards and night guards are custom made by your dentist to relieve the symptoms of TMJ headaches. These devices are typically worn at night, though some patients do benefit from wearing them during the day, particularly during times of high stress.
A dental splint works by adjusting the alignment of the jaw joints to keep them in proper position and reduce pressure which can cause headaches. A night guard or mouth guard covers the teeth and prevents the patient from clenching or grinding their teeth.
In addition to oral appliance therapy for TMJ headaches, patients may benefit from bite adjustment procedures. If your teeth are crooked or misaligned, Dr. Grapevine may recommend invisible braces such as Smart Moves or Invisalign. Dental crowns or porcelain veneers may help to correct the timing and force of the bite so that teeth make contact in harmony.
"I started having jaw pain and headaches several years ago, I was grinding my teeth and clenching my jaw while I slept. I start wearing an NTI device in order to curb some of the clenching and provide me with relief. The NTI did its job, but then I started to unconsciously clench my jaw during the day after some time. This lead to increased headaches and frequent migraines. I was having great difficulty making it through routine cleanings and having cavities filled because my jaw muscles would become fatigued and cramped. Some of my teeth were also starting to show signs of excessive wear due to the increased unconscious clenching and grinding.
Dr. Grapevine examined how I closed my mouth that we realized everything was out of alignment and suggested treating my problems with Invisalign. The treatment process was very easy! My Invisalign treatment lasted about 16 weeks, and I couldn't be happier with the results. I'm no longer dealing with headaches that wake me up in the middle of the night or the inability to hold my mouth open while having my teeth cleaned.
My treatment went as smooth as possible, and I know I will be enjoying the fantastic results for a long, long time." - Catherine R.