The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is located at the base of the jaw and connects the upper jaw to the lower jaw. This joint acts like a sliding hinge and is responsible for opening and closing your mouth and allows your jaw to move forward and backward. This joint is present on both sides of your jaw. TMJ disorder, or TMD, is a term that is used to describe a wide variety of potential issues affecting the jaw joint, muscles in the face, neck, and surrounding nerves. TMJ disorder can cause some people a lot of pain in their jaw joints and the surrounding muscles as well as headaches
Even though symptoms of a TMJ disorder will vary greatly from patient to patient, one of the more common symptoms that patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMD) share are frequent headaches. A type of tension headache, these types of headaches are often caused by teeth clenching or teeth grinding. When the teeth do not make proper contact and the jaws are not in proper alignment, it creates stress and tension in the muscles and face, causing headaches to occur. Tension in the jaw and mouth throughout the day also contributes to chronic headaches and migraines. These “TMJ headaches” most commonly occur in the morning as a result of clenching and grinding of the teeth during sleep. Other signs that could indicate TMD related headaches are:
- Facial pain (often in the temporal region or sides of face)
- Pain in the neck and/or shoulders
- Migraine, or migraine like headaches
- Earache or feeling of fullness in the ears
TMJ Headache Therapy Ellicott City
TMJ disorders can be very complex and hard to diagnose. If you suspect that your headaches are caused by TMJ, teeth grinding or other dental problems, the first step is an evaluation with the dentist. Dr. Ray Becker will review your dental and medical history and examine the fit of your bite and alignment of the TMJ. Depending on the severity of your headaches and condition, one or several treatments may be recommended.
Dr. Becker will choose the most conservative TMJ treatment options first, which may involve lifestyle changes or the use of an oral appliance, such as a TMJ mouthguard. For more severe cases, or after exhausting conservative options, bite correction therapy to restore the alignment of teeth and TMJ may be recommended for lasting comfort and a permanent resolution.
TMJ Therapy : Patient Testimonial
“My headache reduction is at 98%.”
Dr. Becker has extensive training in the diagnosis of occlusal and TMJ disorders and has incorporated some of the latest technology into his Howard County dental office. With the use of Tekscan digital technology, Dr. Becker can more accurately determine an imbalance in the bite and create a customized treatment plan.
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For those who suffer with the symptoms of a TMD, successful treatment can be life changing, restoring their dental health as well as their daily quality of life. Give us a call at 410.415.9013, or request an appointment online today.