HOW ARE MY HEADACHES LINKED TO DENTAL PROBLEMS?

If you get migraines or frequent headaches one cause may reside in the function of your bite and jaw joints.

What Is TMJ?

You have two temporomandibular joints (TMJs) that connect the sides of your jaw to your skull. They help you open and close your mouth when you talk, eat, and yawn. Pain that starts in those joints or the muscles around them can travel to your skull and lead to a migraine. 

What Can Cause TMJ?

Many things can cause jaw pain. One possibility is that you clench your jaw or grind your teeth. You might clench your jaw throughout the day when you feel stressed. Or you may grind your teeth together at night while you sleep. You may not be aware that you do either of these things.

What Are Signs That You May Be Grinding Your Teeth?

o   Your teeth are flat, broken, chipped, or loose.

o   Your teeth feel more sensitive.

o   You have pain or soreness in your jaw or face.

o   Your jaw feels tired or tight.

o   You have an earache, but there’s no problem with your ears.

Treatment for TMJ Headaches

Dr. Engelberg or Dr. Mullarkey will discuss your dental concerns and health history as well as perform a thorough dental exam before recommending appropriate treatment for TMJ and related symptoms. Treatment options include an oral appliance, such as a TMJ mouthguard, and/or bite correction therapy to address problems with the alignment of the teeth and jaw joints.

  • 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 An Appointment

If you are experiencing tooth pain, contact our Arlington Heights, IL dentist office today to learn more about how we can help. To make an appointment at AH Smiles, call 847.230.9703 or schedule an appointment online.