Do you get headaches every week? Do you always keep a bottle of aspirin or ibuprofen on hand? Many people who suffer from frequent headaches tend to dismiss the phenomena as stress-related, and therefore untreatable. In truth, most headaches have attributable causes and there are ways to reduce their frequency. You should never accept headaches as an inevitable fact of life.
Are you tired of being in pain on a regular basis? Stop reaching for painkillers, and call Jack Haney, DDS. Many headaches that patients attribute to stress are actually caused by a common condition called TMJ disorder. Call our office for Knoxville headache treatment. Your pain may be treatable! Call us at 865-693-6886 to make an appointment.
How Does TMJ Disorder Cause Headaches?
The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the structures that lets you open and close your jaw to speak, chew, and breathe through your mouth. These joints involve many working parts, including bones, cartilage, tendons, and muscles. Any dysfunction in how your jaw parts fit together can result in pain in the jaw, face, temples, head, or neck. Such pain has a tendency to radiate into nearby structures, so patients may experience muscle fatigue (which can cause headaches), jaw pain, (which can also cause headaches), pain behind the ears, and pain in the temples.
TMJ disorder is very common; the Mayo Clinic estimates there are about 3 million new cases per year. Many people mistakenly attribute their TMJ issues to stress, as stress can sometimes cause you to clench your jaw and overuse the facial muscles. TMJ is actually not caused by stress, but stress can exacerbate your symptoms and lead to frequent headaches. If you’ve noticed your jaw popping or clicking when you are under stress, then there’s a possibility you might have TMJ disorder.
TMJ Disorder and Bruxism
TMJ problems are frequently connected with bruxism (teeth grinding and jaw clenching). Bruxism on its own can also cause headaches, especially upon waking up in the morning. Some patients experience bruxism without TMJ disorder, but bruxism can also be a symptom of TMJ disorder. If you have noticed that you clench or grind your teeth when you sleep, this may be a treatable sign of bruxism or a symptom of undiagnosed TMJ disorder.
How Is TMJ Disorder Diagnosed and Treated?
When you visit Dr. Jack Haney, he will look at a number of factors. He will observe how your teeth fit together at rest, how your teeth fit together when you bite down, how your jaw joints move when you chew, and many other physical factors. He will take a series of scans to see what’s happening inside your facial structures. Sometimes jaw dysfunction is caused by the way you use your facial muscles; sometimes it’s caused by a misaligned bite. In some cases, TMJ disorder maybe caused by joint deterioration that comes with age.
TMJ disorder can look very different in different patients. If you are diagnosed with TMJ disorder, the kind of treatment you receive from Dr. Haney will be based on the source of your jaw joint dysfunction. Some of the treatments that may be recommended include:
- Physical therapy and relaxation exercises
- BOTOX treatments to relax specific muscles
- Orthodontic treatments to realign the teeth
- An oral appliance to wear when you sleep at night
- A surgical treatment
If your frequent headaches are not caused by TMJ dysfunction, Dr. Haney will have other suggestions that may help you pinpoint what may be causing your pain. If needed, he may refer you to another doctor.
If you experience frequent headaches and have nor been checked for TMJ disorder, call Jack Haney, DDS for Knoxville headache treatment. Call us at 865-693-6886 to make an appointment. We may be able to help you end your pain!