Headaches TMJ

Frequent headaches along with jaw pain, and even tooth aches with no other underlying issues may be a result of the issues with your TMJ, or temporomandibular joint.

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What are TMJ Headaches?

The muscles of the TMJ run along your jaw and cheeks, and sometimes these muscles can cause pain — even headaches. When the muscles in your jaw tense up — like when you grind your teeth — the pain can spread to other TMJ muscles alongside your cheeks and on the sides and top of your head, causing a headache. TMJ headaches can also feel like tension Headaches

Symptoms of a TMJ headaches can include:

(1) Restricted movement of the jaw
(2) Changes in the way your top and bottom teeth meet together
(3) Tight jaw muscles
(4) Aching face muscles jaw or facial pain
(5) A “clicking” noise in the jaw

What Treatment is available for TMJ Headaches?

There are several things you can do to alleviate TMJ pain, you will find most of these treatments are things you can do fairly easily. Lifestyle changes are perhaps the first place to start. Try to avoid hard food or food that is difficult to chew. Try to eliminate stress, this will hopefully reduce the amount of clenching and grinding behaviour that you will experience. If the pain is temporary then you may try switching between hot and cold therapy. Using a heat pack held against your jaw for 15 minutes or use an ice pack for 15 minutes a few times per day. You can even switch between hot and cold for the best results.

Have you considered acupuncture or massage therapy?

An acupuncturist will insert needles around your jaw as well as other areas to ease your pain with the goal to allow improved jaw function and make it easier to open your mouth. Massaging your TMJ joint throughout may also help soften and loosen the muscles around the jaw delivering pain relief. You may try using an anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the pain and associated headache. For example aspirin or ibuprofen (such as Advil), may assist temporarily. Of course it is always recommended that you seek professional advice when using medications for any length of time can help relax your muscles and relieve your symptoms.

At Crown Holistic Dental we suggest that you try as many natural remedies as you feel comfortable to investigate, from relaxing oils in diffusers or applied to your temples, try calming teas throughout the day and prior to sleeping. Mediation and even hypnosis have been known to assist in reducing stress and thereby reducing the symptoms of TMJ issues. There as several ways to help you relax prior to sleeping and of course we are very happy to connect you with one of our wonderful naturopaths for further consultation. However if you have already tried these remedies and you are still suffering from pain and discomfort then you may benefit from something more assertive. We often suggest an occlusal splint (also known as a Night guard or Bite guard)

The use of Splints for Treating TMJ Headaches

Splints protect your teeth from grinding and they may assist to alleviate the pain associated with TMJ concerns. By breaking the habit of clenching and grinding this assist to break the pain cycle, we find occlusal splints are very helpful in this regard. At Crown HD we make all of our own splints for you here at our very own onsite dental laboratory, each one is custom moulded and fitted specifically to meet your individual needs. We use a thermoregulated material, which means our splints are slightly flexible.

They respond to the warmth of your mouth making them the most comfortable splint on the market today. We also go to great lengths to find alternative materials for those patients who may have allergies and other sensitivities to traditional Dental materials. We aim to discover and treat the root cause of your TMJ concerns.

We are thrilled to  help ease headache pain and allow you to take precautions to prevent future occurrences. As always Crown Holistic Dental is passionate about addressing the cause of your  symptoms as well as providing treatment for your Oral Health Concerns.