Have you noticed an increase in headaches? Is your standard Ibuprofen or Tylenol just not cutting it anymore? There may be an underlying issue that your dentist can help you resolve. Your headache pain may be stemming from something called temporomandibular joint disorder.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder described
Commonly referred to as TMD, this disorder can be quite painful. It may start off as a small clicking, which can sometimes go unnoticed. Eventually, the pain will become so pronounced, and you might even experience a locking sensation in your jaw. Take note of what causes the most pain, as your doctor will need all the details to make an informed diagnosis.
Sometimes a simple toothache or sinus infection can disguise itself as TMD, so it’s important to take the necessary steps to determine the actual cause of your pain. Headaches are often debilitating, so getting this disorder under control as quickly as possible is crucial.
How do my teeth affect my head?
It may seem silly to think that your chewing can be related to your recurring headaches, but it’s quite common! The temporomandibular joint is a small yet very important part of your facial structure. This joint is responsible for connecting your jaw to your skull. When there is inflammation within the joints, any sort of jaw movement can be painful.
With this inflammation in such close proximity to your head, you are bound to experience frequent headaches. Your jaw may not be functioning properly, so your whole head will be negatively affected. Everything in your body is connected in some way or another.
Rest assured, there is a solution
Luckily, there are many options to alleviate your head pain. Once your doctor determines your actual diagnosis, you can move forward toward a pain-free life. Your options include medication, bite guards, and physical therapy. The medication will help to control the inflammation, the bite guards will train your jaw to relax, and the physical therapy will help to increase your jaw strength.
All of these treatment options are designed to your unique condition. What may work for your friend, might not work for you. This is why it’s extremely important to discuss your particular symptoms and options with your doctor.
Contact Dr. Sara at AZ Sleep & TMJ Solutions in Scottsdale to learn more about your risk for TMD as well as which treatment options are available to you.