TMJ Disorder & Headaches
What’s Causing Your Chronic Pain?
If you occasionally wake up with pain in your jaws, head, neck, or shoulders, you may chalk it up to sleeping in a bad position. However, if you wake up with these symptoms almost every day, you may have TMJ disorder, which is caused by an imbalance or strain in the temporomandibular, or jaw, joints. When the jaw joints are not in their ideal position, the surrounding muscles work harder to compensate, leading to many painful symptoms. Also known as TMD, this condition has a variety of triggers, including stress, teeth grinding, arthritis, jaw injury, or a misaligned bite.
TMJ Disorder Symptoms
Aside from headaches and other pains, TMJ disorder can also cause problems with jaw functioning. You may not be able to open your mouth fully, or your jaw may lock, click, or pop when you move it. You may also notice that your teeth suddenly do not meet properly, as if your bite has changed overnight. TMD can also affect your ears, causing earaches, hearing problems, or tinnitus.
Advanced Technology for Diagnosis and Treatment
To make a diagnosis of TMD, your dentist at Modern Dental Health will first discuss your symptoms with you and perform a hands-on examination of your teeth and jaws. Digital X-rays and 3-D imaging may also be performed to determine if your jaw is misaligned. Once a diagnosis of TMJ disorder is made, we may use a TENS unit, which stimulates and relaxes your jaw muscles, allowing us to find the ideal alignment for your jaw.
Restoring a Balanced Bite
In most cases of TMD, we can help reposition your jaw with the use of an oral appliance. We will also recommend lifestyle changes to help reduce your stress levels and eliminate bad habits that contribute to TMD, such as gum chewing and fingernail biting. Physical therapy can also help relieve pain and stress in the jaw muscles. As every situation is unique, we will work hard to create a personalized treatment plan to address your individual needs and, most importantly, relieve your pain as quickly as possible.