Headache Therapy Arlington Heights, IL

Do you have frequent headaches, especially in the morning?

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

Common Symptoms of TMJ

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

Treatment for TMJ Headaches

Dr. Engelberg will discuss your dental concerns and health history and 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 can create a custom removable appliance 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 may recommend restorative treatments such as dental crowns, bonding, or orthodontics to reshape the teeth and balance the bite.
  • Botox Therapeutic- Dr. Engelberg and Dr. Basko are 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.

Headache Therapy FAQs

How do I know that I have a TMJ headache?

TMJ headaches may last longer than other types of headaches. In addition to your headache, you may also feel tension in your jaw, facial tightness, or pain in your temples and jaw.

Why do I suddenly have a tension headache?

You can have a headache flare up for several reasons. Everyday stress, clenching and grinding your teeth, and clenching your jaw can contribute to tension headaches. Tension in the facial muscles can create headaches.  

How long do TMJ headaches last?

If you have a TMJ disorder, you can experience headaches for several hours at a time. You can experience headaches on and off for days or weeks. TMJ headaches can become chronic if left untreated. If you have jaw and tooth pain in addition to headaches, contact a dentist for TMJ treatment. 

Can fixing crooked teeth prevent headaches?

In some cases, orthodontic treatment can prevent TMJ symptoms, including headaches. We may recommend fixing crooked teeth to create a more balanced bite. Many patients with uneven bites and crooked teeth are likelier to clench or grind their teeth, leading to headaches. Misaligned teeth can also place pressure on different areas of the mouth and jaw. This stress and pressure on the teeth and jaw can strain facial muscles. 

Why does caffeine worsen TMJ headaches? 

Drinking coffee and tea or consuming other foods and drinks that contain caffeine worsens headaches. This is because caffeine increases activity in the brain and the nervous system. Caffeine circulates cortisol and adrenaline throughout the body. In turn, you may feel more anxious or stressed when totally alert.  

Can medication treat TMJ headaches?

At home, you can take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDS). A doctor may also prescribe muscle relaxants to take before bed to reduce bruxism that contributes to TMJ headaches.