Frequent headaches, cluster headaches, and those that tend to occur in the morning may be a symptom of a bite disorder or TMJ dysfunction. When there is tension in the jaw muscles as a result of an imbalanced or bad bite, it can lead to headaches, jaw pain, and pain in the shoulders and neck. If you have undiagnosed headaches, consider discussing your concerns with Dr. Trushar Patel in his Westborough, MA dental office. Treating a TMJ disorder can improve your oral health and address associated symptoms that are diminishing your daily quality of life.
Treating TMJ Headaches
Dr. Patel will evaluate your dental health, discuss your medical history and work with you on an individual basis to determine if the function of your bite is the cause of your frequent headaches. The next step is to identify the cause of your bite problem and recommend the appropriate treatment. Dr. Patel’s personalized approach to your care is the key to results that are lasting and will address all aspects of your oral health. There is a range of treatment options, depending on your specific needs and oral health condition:
- Nightguards: The most conservative and often first line of treatment is a custom fit nightguard. Also called splint therapy, the goal is to reposition the jaw so that the muscles can relax in their natural position. A nightguard is also used to prevent teeth grinding, a common symptom of a bite disorder and contributing factor to headaches and facial pain.
- Lifestyle changes: Certain habits, including gum chewing, can build tension in already stressed jaw muscles.
- Relaxation techniques: Stress is also a key aggravator of TMJ-related tension. Introducing some calming habits or activities in your life can help reduce stress and improve symptoms. Exercise, massage, and a healthy diet are all part of improving your overall health and well-being.
Are You Suffering from TMJ?
Frequent headaches, jaw pain, ear pain, and popping jaw are all possible symptoms of a temporomandibular disorder (TMD), usually referred to as TMJ. Patients who suffer from any, or all, of the above symptoms, may not realize they have a bite disorder. Westborough Dental Associates takes a comprehensive approach to dentistry, seeking to understand the underlying cause of any dental health problems before recommending a treatment plan. Dr. Patel and his team offer patients high-quality TMJ treatments for patients diagnosed with TMJ.
For patients who have sustained tooth damage due to the effects of TMJ, we may recommend restorative treatment options to realign your bite and repair damaged teeth. This could be accomplished with tooth bonding, dental crowns, veneers, and more. The goal of TMJ therapy is to restore balance to your bite, thus alleviating pressure on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and relieving the associated symptoms. This is important for maintaining optimal dental health and avoiding further dental health issues.
Frequent Headache FAQs
Discover more about the causes of and treatments for headaches here:
What causes a TMJ headache?
Along the jaw and cheeks runs the TMJ muscles. When these muscles tense up (like when you grind your teeth), they become strained. This will cause pain that radiates from the muscles up to the side of your head leading to headaches. If you suffer from teeth clenching or bruxism, you can wake up with these headaches.
What else can I do about my TMJ-related headaches?
We can provide you with a custom nightguard to help but there are other things you can do to help with the headaches. Various lifestyle changes can help tremendously! Lowering your overall stress will help relax the muscles in your face. Finding an activity or method such as yoga or meditation is a great way to manage stress in your life. You can also avoid chewing gum, hard food, and sticky food all of which involve using the TMJ muscles.
Can TMJ be the cause of my migraines?
If you suffer from a TMJ disorder then your chances of having a migraine increase by 60%. Daily migraines can also become worse with TMJ. If you suffer from migraines, our TMJ treatments may help you find some relief.
Request a Dental Appointment
Do you have frequent and persistent headaches or migraines? Contact Westborough Dental Associates in Massachusetts at 508.342.1519 or schedule a visit to our dentist office online today.