Royal Oak and Birmingham, MI
Headaches happen to just about everyone at some point. Headaches can happen when you get dehydrated, experience a stressful event, have vision problems, or have eyestrain from too much computer use. But, have you tried remedying these factors in your life, yet still get headaches? If you also suffer from facial pain or pain in your jaw joints, then temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder may be the cause of your headaches.
TMJ disorder can affect anyone of any age, and many people are surprised to learn that if left untreated, it can be the cause of their mysterious headaches. Pain from TMJ disorder is far-reaching, but thankfully, you have treatment options other than taking medication forever. Read on to discover the link behind your mysterious headaches, and find out how neuromuscular dentist in Royal Oak Dr. Nancy Hartrick, treats TMJ disorder.
What is TMJ disorder?
TMJ disorder involves the improper function of the jaw joints. It most often presents as pain in the face, headaches, worn teeth, clicking or popping jaw, ringing in the ears, and more. Click here to explore symptoms associated with TMJ disorder. A misaligned jaw such as an overbite, underbite, or crossbite means the jaws are misaligned,and can cause a strain on the jaw joints, as well the nerves and muscles associated with that joint. Other causes of TMJ disorder may be genetics, joint degeneration diseases (arthritis), an injury to the face, missing teeth or other dental problems.
What is the connection between the jaw joints and headaches?
The trigeminal nerve, along with blood vessels and muscles are intimately located near the temporomandibular joints. The trigeminal nerve is the most significant cranial nerve and is responsible for sending sensory input to and from the brain, and it connects to the spinal cord. Branches of this nerve can send signals to the entire face, near the sinuses, eyes, ears, and the head.
Now, imagine for a moment if the jaw joint was slightly off balance. What do you think would happen? This nerve wouldn’t be too happy. When TMJ disorder or a joint malfunction occurs, the trigeminal nerve becomes irritated, possibly even pinched, and it begins a chain reaction. Blood vessels may become restricted, facial muscles begin to become tense and achy. If left untreated, frequent headaches begin to occur.
If this happens to you, chances are that you probably only get temporary relief from traditional over-the-counter pain medications. In fact, even prescription relief medications probably do nothing to stop the frequency of your headaches. Sound familiar? While medication may provide relief temporarily, pain reoccurs because the source of the problem (your jaw joints) aren’t being treated.
Headache Relief in Royal Oak
Dr. Hartrick is a neuromuscular dentist that focuses on finding the underlying problem to her patient’s oral health problems. She can use specialized diagnostic equipment to determine if a patient has TMJ disorder, and to what degree. Usually, it is apparent in the way one’s teeth come together whether a patient has TMJ disorder, but with cutting-edge technology, she can determine the degree of imbalance, and then design a mouthguard that adjusts the bite to a precise degree, relieving the jaw joint tension, and headaches.
If you are tired of suffering from mysterious headaches, or your primary care physician doesn’t seem to be giving you any definitive answers for your pain, you might have TMJ disorder. You do not have to suffer in pain with your TMJ disorder. If you would like to learn more or to schedule an evaluation, please contact Hartrick Dentistry by calling (248) 549-0950. We welcome patients of Birmingham and Royal Oak, Michigan.