TMJ Headaches –Putting The Bite On Pain

Our clinical team is trained in all structures related to oral health and dentition including the muscles and bones of the temporomandibular joint. Please don’t be put off by this 17-letter word. Temporo means temple, and mandibular refers to the jawbone (mandible). You can feel these joints – among the most complex in the human anatomy –just in front of your ears when you open and close your mouth.

TMJ symptoms may include…
• Pain around your ears
• Tooth pain
• Clicking or popping noises in the jaw joint
• Jaw locking in an opened or closed position
• Facial swelling
• Humming or ringing in the ears
• Headaches

When the bone and soft tissue of these joints are injured, aggravated, and otherwise inflamed, pain results. Muscle and cartilage in and around the joint can also become inflamed, particularly if subjected to constant or severe strain. And once the inflammatory process begins it is very hard to reverse it without intervention. We use our jaw joints constantly, and they get little recovery time.

There’s no one cause for TMJ, but potential causes of TMJ facial pain and headaches, aside from facial trauma, are pressure caused by jaw-clenching and grinding, particularly at night, a dislocated joint disk, misalignment of the bite, and even poor posture has been identified as a contributing factor.

If your headaches are TMJ-related, or if you are experiencing any of these other symptoms, in many cases, we can prescribe a small comfortable appliance that properly aligns the jaw and prevents clenching and grinding. We refer to this as a night guard appliance. 

One way to find out is to make us aware of any of the symptoms above. If there is a simple non-surgical option to relieve your chronic pain, then we would like to see you consider it.

© Patient News