Do you suffer from frequent headaches and are looking for a diagnosis? Do these frequent headaches affect your quality of life? You may have an underlying temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder or bite problem. TMJ disorder is one of the dental concerns that Bella Smiles treats in Long Island, NY. Stress and tension in the jaw as a result of an imbalance in the bite often lead to recurring headaches. In most patients, these headaches are most noticeable in the morning.
Bella Smiles is your premier dentist office with locations in Riverhead, Roslyn, and Nesconset, NY. We offer TMJ treatment options that can help alleviate your pain while restoring a healthier smile. Properly identifying the underlying cause of your painful symptoms is the key to a lasting treatment plan for what is often a complex issue.
Our dental care team will evaluate all aspects of your oral health, including the function of the jaw joint. Your dentist will perform a complete bite analysis to determine if your headaches are from a TMJ disorder.
Teeth Grinding & Headaches
In many cases, teeth grinding and jaw clenching can create muscle tension in the jaw. When you constantly grind your teeth, it can lead to frequent headaches and other related concerns such as ear pain, neck stiffness, and jaw pain. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, may be the result of daily stress, muscle tension, or the symptom of a bite problem.
It can also lead to headaches due to the excessive force and pressure that grinding exerts on the jaw muscles. The constant clenching and grinding can cause muscle fatigue and tension in the jaw area, which can radiate pain to other parts of your head.
Additionally, teeth grinding can also lead to a TMJ disorder. TMJ disorder affects the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull and can cause pain in the jaw joint itself as well as headaches.
We will work with you to identify the lifestyle habits or dental concerns that are causing you to grind your teeth. Some common dental concerns that contribute to frequent headaches can include malocclusion, damaged teeth, and missing teeth; all of which can detrimentally affect the function of your bite.
Treatment for TMJ Headaches
TMJ headaches can be debilitating and affect the quality of life for those who suffer from them. These headaches are often due to a dysfunction or misalignment of the jaw joint that leads to pain and discomfort in your head and face.
Fortunately, Dr. Lotardo, Dr. Pop, and Dr. Caesar can recommend treatment options available to alleviate TMJ headaches and improve overall jaw function. The goal of our TMJ treatments is to relieve headaches and other painful symptoms by restoring your dental health and a natural, functional bite. Options to treat headaches may include oral appliances, restorative dentistry, orthodontics, and more.
Night Guard or Dental Splint
We offer custom dental appliances, such as a night guard or splint, that will reposition your jaw to alleviate teeth grinding symptoms. Patients commonly wear them while sleeping or even during high-stress times. Our oral appliances can correct bite alignment or reduce teeth grinding during sleep. Night guards consist of a thick rubber-like compound that protects the teeth and reduces tension on the jaw. This is an easy and minimally invasive treatment that is very effective.
There are several restorative treatments we can use to treat your TMJ headaches. This can include dental crowns, tooth bonding, or other procedures that can realign your bite. These treatments adjust the way your teeth make contact and create a healthier bite. Oral surgery may be necessary in rare cases where structural abnormalities are present.
Our dentists can also provide restorative dental services to fix the damage that TMJ causes to your teeth. For example, your dentist can can repair worn-down teeth, cracked teeth and fractured teeth using the same treatments.
Orthodontics is a helpful tool to alleviate some TMJ symptoms including headaches. We may recommend Invisalign to reposition your teeth and realign the bite. Clear aligners are a great treatment to discreetly pull teeth into proper alignment. By correcting misaligned teeth, we are balance the bite and decreasing the strain and stress that teeth grinding places on the jaw joint.
Orthodontic treatment can also improve the muscular balance and mechanics of the jaw, which can reduce muscle pain and headaches. Additionally, braces and aligners can help with bruxism by allowing you to keep your teeth apart in a comfortable and relaxed position.
Lifestyle changes, self-care techniques, and non-invasive therapies are also very common for treating and alleviating frequent headaches.
Lifestyle changes may involve:
- Avoiding hard or chewy foods that can put strain on your jaw joint.
- Practicing stress reduction techniques to minimize teeth clenching or grinding.
- Maintaining good posture to alleviate strain on your neck and jaw muscles.
Self-care techniques such as applying a warm compresses or ice packs to the affected area can provide temporary relief from headaches. Additionally, gentle stretching exercises for the jaw muscles may help improve flexibility and reduce tension.
Non-invasive therapies such as physical therapy or chiropractic care can also play a significant role in treating TMJ headaches. These treatments focus on improving joint mobility, reducing muscle tension, and addressing any underlying posture issues that may contribute to TMJ dysfunction.
Request a TMJ Disorder Evaluation Today
It’s important for individuals experiencing TMJ headaches to consult with a healthcare professional specializing in temporomandibular disorders (TMD) for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. With proper care and management strategies in place, our patients with TMJ-related headaches can find relief and regain control over their daily lives.
If you suffer from headaches and suspect it could be from a TMJ disorder, schedule an appointment today with one of our expert dentists. We offer both diagnosis and treatment for headaches that are from TMJ issues or teeth grinding. We will do a full exam of your mouth, teeth, and jaw to determine the best treatment to help you find relief from your headaches. With offices in Riverhead, Roslyn, and Nesconset, NY, we can treat patients in many Long Island communities.