If you’ve ever had a migraine headache, you know it’s not something you want to repeat.
Your head hurts. Light hurts your eyes, and even everyday sounds can seem unbearable.
If you are have headaches on a regular basis, the source of your problem might be your jaw. TMJ disorders, or TMD, can cause headaches (among other problems).
If this sounds like something you are going through, you may want to make an appointment at one of our Beaumont Family Dentistry offices in Lexington. We have ways to help alleviate your pain.
What is TMD?
TMD is short for temporomandibular disorder. You may have heard people talk about this as TMJ, which refers to the temporomandibular joint.
This joint acts as a hinge for your jaw. It allows you to open your mouth when you talk and when you eat. It also allows you to move your jaw from side to side.
If you are experiencing TMD, headaches that won’t go away are one possible symptoms. That’s why a TMD treatment may be what you need to solve your headache problem.
Constant headaches aren’t the only symptom of TMD. Other symptoms include:
- Pain in your face, neck, or shoulders
- Hearing problems, such as ringing in your ears
- Soreness or tenderness in and around your jaw
- Facial swelling
- Popping or clicking when you open or close your mouth
- Jaw getting stuck in the open or closed position
- Limited range of motion in your jaw
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis or more than one of these symptoms, you might want to make an appointment with one of our dentists to discuss TMD.
Causes of TMD
Several things can cause TMD.
Arthritis is one possible cause. This can affect your temporomandibular joint just as it affects other joints in your body.
A collision can affect the position of your jaw, which can cause TMD. This kind of collision can be the result of a fall, participation in a contact sport, or an automobile accident.
Last but not least, TMD can result from bruxism. In case you are wondering, bruxism is the grinding or clenching your teeth together. This puts extra pressure on your joint and strains the muscles around your joint.
Many people who have clench or grind their teeth aren’t aware they are doing it. Some people grinding their teeth in their sleep. Other people clench their teeth as an unconscious response to stress, perhaps from work or personal problems.
In our practice, we take a comprehensive approach to treating TMD using the TruDenta® therapy system. This approach includes in-office and at-home phases to give you the best possible result.
Each step is designed to help correct your problem for the long term.
The therapy starts in our office. You will make weekly visits to our office for 8 to 12 weeks. We use ultrasound therapy, manual muscle therapy, and electrostimulation to help relax your facial muscles and jaw.
At the same time, you will start therapy at home. This may include cold packs, lotion, medicine, and relaxation techniques.
Later, we will design a custom orthotic appliance. You will wear this at night to help your temporomandibular joint stay in a relaxed position.
This also prevents you from grinding and clenching your teeth in your sleep. This can go a long way toward resolving your headaches.
The final part is force balancing therapy. This is intended to make sure you aren’t experiencing too much force on your joint from any direction. This is important to fix your TMD for the long term.
Stop your headaches now
If you’ve had enough of headaches, jaw soreness, or neck and shoulder pain, now is the time to call us. We don’t like seeing our patients in pain. We want you to feel your best.