How long have you been suffering from recurring headaches without finding any real relief? Maybe you’ve joined the many people who keep migraine medication in their cars, desks, and medicine cabinets because they never know when a terrible headache is going to knock them off their feet!
We don’t have to tell that that’s no way to live! There are solutions out there that maybe you haven’t considered yet. Take your teeth, for example. Is it possible that your teeth could be contributing to the problem? We don’t blame you for being skeptical, but keep reading to learn more about how your teeth could greatly impact the rest of your body through your TMJ.
What is the TMJ?
The TMJ is an extremely important part of your body. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. The TMJ is the joint that rests on either side of your jaw (just in front of the ear). It opens and closes your jaw thousands of times a day.
Your TMJ is the primary joint, but it is surrounded by muscles, tendons, and smaller pieces of the puzzle that all work together to enable you to chew, swallow, speak, yawn, laugh, and the list goes on! Imagine what would happen when there is a glitch in that system. That’s what we are going to get into next!
Problems That Occur
With so many small parts working together, it doesn’t take much for injuries to happen. That being said, TMJ issues are not first things that come to mind when your primary care physician is examining you for a cause of your headaches! In their eyes, there are many causes for headaches, but we have the ability to focus on the causes that are related to your TMJ.
Stress from Misalignment – Teeth that are misaligned have difficulty finding a resting position because the natural cusp/groove relationship is thrown off. This constant searching for a comfortable resting place cause cause a lot of tension and distress on your TMJ.
Arthritis – Arthritis is a condition that causes the joints to swell. You might ordinarily think of elbows, knees, hips, and fingers, but the TMJ is not immune to arthritis. The TMJ can still become swollen and painful, causing problems throughout the entire jaw system.
Pain from Bruxism – Have you ever caught yourself clenching your teeth while you are in the middle of an important event? Maybe your spouse tells you that you grind your teeth while you sleep? This is called bruxism, and it, too, can cause damage to your TMJ.
Injury – Sometimes the problem comes from an external force, like a baseball or a child’s knee or your dog’s head. Your jaw gets knocked around quite a bit, and sometimes a knock leads to a more serious problem: an injury to your TMJ.
Signs That You Have a Problem
You know by now that headaches and migraines are often an effect of an injury to your TMJ, but it’s not the only effect. Take a look below at other signs that there could be a problem with your TMJ.
Pain – Patients report having pain that radiates down their neck, into their shoulders, and all around the head. Keep track of when you experience pain to help us and your doctor pinpoint the problem.
Sounds – TMJ problems often go undiagnosed because some are so subtle, like the sounds. If you hear popping, clicking, or chirping as you chew, there’s a very real chance that you have an issue with your TMJ.
Sinuses – Patients who are having a TMJ problem might also notice a problem with their sinuses. The sinuses and your teeth are very close in proximity and often react to one another. Sinus drainage or pain could be related to your TMJ.
We have real solutions for TMJ dysfunction right here in Hoover, AL. You don’t have to live with the discomfort, stress, and anxiety that comes with constant headaches and pain. Our method is to begin with conservative treatment first. We might ask you to try relaxation techniques, an over the counter muscle relaxer, or a warm compress before going to bed. If those don’t work, we will offer a nightguard for you to wear to protect your teeth while you are asleep.
If the problem is alignment of your teeth, we will offer to take care of the problem through a dental restoration or quick orthodontics. If none of these options correct the problem, we may need to refer you to a specialist who can actually work in your TMJ to repair the damage.
Contact Our Office Today!
Are you ready to end your headaches? Call our office right now! Set up an appointment or consultation and let us know exactly what’s been going on. We can find solutions quickly and get you back to your normal life once and for all! Contact us today!