Do you frequently wake up in the morning with a headache or sore jaw? Do you suffer from headaches every day? It may be that your headaches are caused by a Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD). TMJ headaches are overlooked or misdiagnosed by many physicians. Washington, D.C. dentist, Andrew Cobb DDS has special experience diagnosing and treating patients who suffer from TMJ headaches and migraines.
TMJ and Headaches
Many physicians and patients don’t link dental problems or TMJ disorders with headaches. In most cases, headaches caused by dental problems are the result of malocclusion, or an unbalanced bite. TMJ headaches may be caused by teeth clenching or teeth grinding, which often occurs during sleep, the reason most TMJ headaches and migraines occur in the morning.
While both men and women can be affected, women are more likely to experience TMJ headaches. Hormones and genetics are suspected to be the reasons TMJ headaches are more prevalent in women.
TMJ Headache Symptoms
Common symptoms that accompany TMJ headaches 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
TMJ Headache Relief
Dr. Cobb offers a range of solutions for patients seeking TMJ headache relief. For many patients, lifestyle changes are the easiest solution. This requires patients to reduce their stress, stop chewing gums and certain foods which aggravate the TMJ joints. Jaw stretching exercises may be helpful to increase range of motion and relieve pain.
Patients may also benefit from custom made oral appliances such as dental splints, mouth guards and night guards. It is important to seek professional treatment from a dentist to avoid unintended consequences or damage to your teeth and jaw joints.
Splints and Night Guards for TMJ Headaches
Dr. Cobb uses dental splints, mouth guards and night guards to relieve the symptoms of TMJ headaches. 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.
TMJ Headache Treatment
In addition to oral appliance therapy, Dr. Cobb may recommend a bite adjustment procedure. If your teeth are crooked or misaligned, Dr. Cobb may use invisible braces to straighten teeth, helping them to make proper contact and relieving stress on the jaw joints.
Dr. Cobb uses sophisticated diagnostic equipment like T-Scan and JVA which measure the timing, force and vibration of your jaw joints. If your teeth do not make proper contact, Dr. Cobb may use dental crowns or porcelain veneers to restore balance and harmony.
Get Relief From Chronic Headaches
Frequent headaches cause people to miss time from work, make multiple visits to the doctor and spend money on unnecessary pain medication. Visit Washington D.C. dentist Andrew Cobb, DDS to find out if your headaches are caused by TMD or other dental problems.