You may not think of going to the dentist if you have recurring headaches, but you might be surprised by what we can do for you.
It’s true that headaches can have a number of causes. Yet, many recurring headaches are tied to another issue, a TMJ disorder. We’ll explain more about what this is below. We’ll also give you a list of symptoms you can use to determine if you should make an appointment with Brian Davey, DDS.
If you do of this condition, we have a treatment that has worked for countless patients who have visited our San Diego, CA dental office. Call (858) 762-9991 to learn more or to make an appointment for yourself.
Understanding The Basics Of TMJ
The TMJ in TMJ disorder is short for temporomandibular joint. You actually have two of these joints. They are ball-and-socket joints that connect your lower jaw (or mandible) to your skull. The joints are what allow you to open and close your mouth. These joints are located below your ear on either side of your face.
Injuries to this area can cause swelling that can restrict the movement of these joints. Infections can cause similar problems.
Teeth grinding is another common cause of TMJ troubles. Millions of people do this without realizing. This includes many people who grind and clench their teeth in their sleep.
If you have this condition, you may have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Frequent headaches, including migraines
- Frequent jaw pain or soreness
- Pain when biting or chewing
- Frequent earaches
- Jaw stiffness
- Clicking or popping when opening or closing your mouth
- Facial, neck, upper back, or shoulder pain
You may have minor TMJ symptoms. Most people do at one time or another. In those situations, you may be able to use home remedies to manage your problem.
Over-the-counter pain relievers can help. Applying heat can loosen up stiff jaw joints, and cold packs can numb pain and reduce swelling. Sometimes sticking with softer foods for a short time is enough to ease your jaw problems.
If your symptoms keep coming back or don’t change in spite of your treatment, plan a visit with Dr. Davey. If teeth grinding is contributing to your problem, we can design a bite guard for your teeth. We use NTI-tss bite guards, which are FDA-approved and have been proven by research to reduce headache pain. This can be worn while you sleep to prevent the clenching and grinding that lead to this kind of problem.
It’s also possible that your grinding may be a result of a misaligned bite. In that situation, an orthodontic treatment, such as Invisalign, may be helpful as well.
Stop Living In Pain
We never want to see anyone suffer, especially when they have an issue that we can treat at the office of Brian Davey, DDS. If you suspect that you may have a TMJ disorder, please plan to visit our San Diego dental practice. Fill out our online form or call (858) 762-9991.