Why Do I Wake Up With A Headache?

What Do Headaches Have To Do With My Dental Health?

Although headaches are not often considered to be a dental health concern, chronic headaches can be a sign of a temporomandibular disorder (TMD). Commonly called TMJ, a TMD is often the result of an imbalance in the bite which puts a strain on the jaw joints causing painful symptoms. Addressing a bite disorder such as TMJ is important for dental health and quality of life.

What are some common symptoms of TMJ?

  • Facial pain (often in the temporal region or sides of face)
  • Pain in the neck and/or older shoulders
  • A migraine, or migraine-like headaches, especially in the morning
  • Earache or feeling of fullness in the ears

What Cause TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) combines a hinge action with sliding motions. The parts of the bones that interact in the joint are covered with cartilage and are separated by a small shock-absorbing disk, which normally keeps the movement smooth.

Painful TMJ disorders can occur if:

  • The disk erodes or moves out of its proper alignment
  • The joint’s cartilage is damaged by arthritis
  • The joint is damaged by a blow or other impact

In many cases, however, the cause of TMJ disorders isn’t clear.

What are my options for treatment of TMJ Headaches?

  • TMJ Mouthguard– Dr. Engelberg or Dr. Mullarkey can create a custom removable appliance that is worn during sleep. The purpose of this treatment is to reduce or prevent teeth grinding and clenching and therefore reduce the occurrence of morning headaches.
    Bite Correction – Headaches often result from an unbalanced bite. Drs. Engelberg or Mullarkey may recommend restorative treatments such as dental crowns, bonding or orthodontics to reshape the teeth and balance the bite.
  • Botox Therapeutic- Engelberg and Dr. Basko have trained in the treatment of TMJ related headaches through the use of Botox injections. When used for TMJ, Botox Therapeutic can reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches associated with the disorder by limiting the ability to clench or grind the jaw. Patients will enjoy relief for up to 6 months. For your convenience, you may receive your touch up treatments during your bi-annual dentist office visits.

Schedule a Consultation

If you or a loved one is having chronic headaches, discuss this with Dr. Engelberg at your next visit to their Arlington Heights dentist office. Arlington Heights Smiles serves many local communities including Long Grove, ILDeerfield, ILNorthbrook, ILBuffalo Grove, ILArlington Heights, IL, and many other local Chicago suburbs.

Treating chronic headaches can restore overall health for both the patient and those affected by their headaches. Call 847.230.9703 or request an appointment online.


3440 N. Old Arlington Heights Rd.
Arlington Heights, IL 60004

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