Royal Oak and Birmingham, MI
Regularly occurring headaches can make it difficult to concentrate at work or carry out your daily routine. Unfortunately, pinpointing the cause of your headaches could be complicated and time-consuming, involving multiple visits to the doctor. However, your dentist in Royal Oak, Dr. Nancy Hartrick, is sharing that the cause of your headaches could be right under your nose (well, technically, right beside your nose!) as a symptom of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD).
What is TMJ disorder?
The joint that connects your jaw to your skull is called the temporomandibular joint. As the joint starts to malfunction, pain is transmitted to your jaw joints and quickly radiates through the surrounding nerves and musculature. TMJ may cause aggravation, irritation, and compression of the trigeminal nerve, which sends pain to your brain, causing chronic headaches. When TMJS is untreated, the pain could radiate to your neck or back. The most common treatment for migraines and headaches is a potent medication, which will only relieve the symptoms, not the cause of the condition.
What are some symptoms of TMJD other than headaches?
Along with chronic headaches, you may experience other symptoms indicating something is wrong with your joint. Below are more conditions that our Royal Oak neuromuscular dentist has discovered when diagnosing TMJ disorder.
- Sore Jaw
- Facial Pain
- Locked jaw
- Teeth Grinding
- Ringing in your ears
- Numbness in extremities
- Neck, shoulder, or back pain
- Worn, loose, chipped, or cracked teeth
- Pain in the mouth that seems to migrate
- Clicking or grating sounds emanating from your jaw
Can a dentist relieve my headaches?
In short, yes, a dentist could relieve your chronic headaches caused by TMJD. Through extensive post-graduate study, Dr. Hartrick is qualified to diagnose and treat TMJD through neuromuscular dentistry that repairs the alignment of your jaw. Dr. Hartrick studied neuromuscular dentistry at the Kois Center, an advanced graduate-level training center focusing on bite equilibrium, and balance among the orofacial musculature. Through the rigorous education program, Dr. Hartrick received training to identify TMJ disorder and learned about possible treatments to address the cause of stress to the temporomandibular joint. With proper treatment, TMJD, and its symptoms should subside, especially your headaches.
What are the consequences of untreated TMJD?
Unfortunately, TMJD will not disappear on its own. If the condition goes undiagnosed or untreated, the symptoms and problems will continue to progress. The most common symptom, pain, could become chronic and debilitating, resulting in complications in completing daily tasks. The disorder may affect the range of motion in your jaw, causing difficulties with speaking and eating, or resulting in lockjaw. Also, your jaw muscles work together with your neck muscles in keeping your spinal cord inline. If your condition goes untreated, you may experience pinched nerves, misaligned cervical vertebrae, and possible numbness in your extremities. Therefore, visiting your Birmingham dentist at Hartrick Dentistry to learn more about TMJD and available treatment options is recommended to relieve pain and restore standard functionality.
Headache Relief in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan
Headaches that do not dissipate when taking over-the-counter medications could be a sign of a severe condition such as TMJD. The only way to stop the pain and restore a pain-free life from this condition is to have it diagnosed and begin the appropriate neuromuscular treatment. If you have been experiencing debilitating headaches and wonder if TMJD is the cause, feel free to contact Hartrick Dentistry by calling (248) 549-0950 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today!