Headaches from Jaw Joint Disorder
General Dentist and Cosmetic Dental Services in Edmonton, Alberta
If you suffer from chronic, migraine-like headaches and no doctor, neurologist, or other physician has adequately relieved your head pain, it is probable that the culprit is temporomandibular joint disorder. Also known as TMD or TMJ, temporomandibular joint disorder is when the jaw is misaligned due to displacement of the temporomandibular joint, a ball-and-socket joint that connects your lower and upper jaw. Since this joint affects even the slightest of jaw movements, its function is vital to your well-being.
Types of Headaches
Afflicting nearly 20 million people, temporomandibular joint disorder is often known as an imposter, as most are unaware that their symptoms are related to jaw dysfunction. Treatment for debilitating, migraine headaches is often sought by patients in the office of a neurologist which is a great first step to rule out any medically related reasons for headaches.
A bad bite can cause tension in muscles that open and close your jaw, as well as in the head, neck and shoulder musculature. When muscles are contracted, circulation to the muscle is poor, there is a lack of oxygen and waste products accumulate. The result is pain and headaches. Many peole don’t know that a dentist can help by fabricating a custom made orthodonic to be worn over your teeth to adjust your bite to a physically balanced position.
Common types of headaches caused by temporomandibular joint disorder include:
- Headaches where the pain is located behind the eyes
- Migraines that have pain radiating over the sides of the head and face
- Tension headaches, which is when the pain occurs where the back of the neck meets the head
Other Symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
If no physician has adequately treated your migraine headaches, you should keep a keen eye for other symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder which include:
- Jaw locking, popping or clicking
- Difficulty chewing
- Restricted range of motion in the lower jaw
- Painful and loose teeth
- Ear ringing or stuffiness
If you suffer from migraine headaches and any of the above symptoms apply to you, it is vital that you seek treatment in a dentist’s office, where your jaw can be examined and they can determine if temporomandibular joint disorder is the source of your pain.
Dr. Fialka-Eshenko Can Help
Some dentists, such as Dr. Christine Fialka-Eshenko, are specially trained to diagnose and treat TMD. This is accomplished by examining the nerves, muscles, jaw alignment, and hard and soft tissue relationship. If we discover the misalignment of your temporomandibular joint, we will place your jaw into its optimal position, which will relieve you of common, TMD symptoms.
Using various measurements we will extrapolate the ideal width/length ratio for your front teeth and the ideal bite. Then a state of the art TENS unit will relax your muscles. This is achieved by:
- Sending a constant, rhythmic pulse of ultra low frequencies to increase blood flow and remove waste products
- Stimulating endorphin production to reduce pain
- Massaging the muscles to relax them
A dental appliance called a neuromuscular orthotic will be fabricated using the myobite taken after your muscles have been relaxed by the TENS unit.
Migraine headaches can cause a massive reduction in your quality of life. If no doctor has been able to treat your headaches, it is essential that you schedule an appointment with Dr. Fialka-Eshenko. During your personal consultation at our Edmonton, Alberta office, we will examine your jaw and bite to determine if temporomandibular joint disorder is the cause of your pain.
Please contact our Edmonton Alberta cosmetic dentistry office today to schedule your personal consultation.