Stress, dehydration, lack of sleep, vision problems, computer usage, and poor diet—mysterious headaches get blamed on a lot of potential causes! Have you tried to eliminate these factors from your life, but find that headaches are still slowing you down? If you also suffer from pain or soreness in the face or jaw, you may want to consider the possibility that temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder may be the source your chronic headaches.
This common condition can lead to pain and muscle fatigue in the jaw, face, neck, and head, as well as aching temples and problems opening and closing the jaw. Many patients are not aware that the functioning of jaw joints can have such far-reaching (and painful) effects, but luckily TMJ disorder is easy to diagnose and has multiple routes for treatment.
Do you need Knoxville headache treatment that corrects the true cause of your pain? Visit Dr. Jack Haney to find out whether joint dysfunction may be the source of your headaches. Call us at 865-693-6886 to make an appointment.
TMJ Disorder is More than Just a Popping Jaw!
A lot of patients are only familiar with TMJ disorder as the cause behind a popping sound or a feeling of shifting in the jaw. In reality, not all patients will experience this symptom, because each person’s facial and dental anatomy may be different. When there is any dysfunction in the temporomandibular joints, it can lead to a number of possible symptoms.
What is TMJ Disorder?
This condition results from improper function of the joints that open close the jaw. It is often caused by bite misalignment (such as overbite, under bite, or cross bite), which affects how your top and bottom jaws work together. Since teeth can shift a great deal over time, many patients who wore braces to correct a bite misalignment in youth are surprised to learn that their improper bite has returned later in life. TMJ disorder can also be caused by facial injury, genetics, dental problems, or joint degeneration due to arthritis.
TMJ disorder may feel different for different patients. There are many moving parts involved in the jaw joints, including bones, muscles, cartilage, ligaments, and more. Depending on the specifics of your bite misalignment or joint dysfunction, you may experience any combination of the following symptoms.
- Facial pain and muscle fatigue
- Pain in the temples, or around the ear
- Difficulty chewing
- Teeth grinding (bruxism)
- Headaches upon waking
- Damage to the molars
- Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
- Tension in the neck and jaw
Because the position of the jaw can affect your airways, patients may also be snorers or sleep apnea sufferers.
How Dr. Jack Haney Can Help!
When you visit our office, Dr. Haney will listen to your symptoms and conduct an examination of your bite and temporomandibular joints. This may include an oral exam, x-rays, and other possible diagnostic testing.
Knoxville headache treatment for TMJ dysfunction will vary based on each individual case, but may include orthodontic treatment, physical therapy, BOTOX injections (to relax overused muscles), and/or an oral splint to alter the position of the jaw when you sleep at night. In some cases, surgery may even be recommended to restore proper joint function. Since symptoms can vary dramatically, there’s no way to predict which treatment will be recommended without an exam.
Call our dental office for Knoxville headache treatment today! With one visit, Dr. Haney can help you find out whether TMJ disorder is causing your pain. Call us at 865-693-6886 to make an appointment with Dr. Haney.