Imagine a stroll in the park on a sunny spring day, a peaceful afternoon reading a good book, or an evening out with good friends. These thoughts probably put a smile on your face. That’s because simple, pleasurable activities are the backbone of a healthy, happy life. Now imagine doing them with a painful headache. The smile has likely left your face. Painful headaches can take the pleasure out of just about any activity.
Many people seeking a reprieve from the pain of constant headaches or migraines will head to their doctor’s office for a diagnosis and the drugstore for pain relievers, but, if your pain is being caused by TMJ, this route may not provide the long-lasting relief you need.
How can your jaw cause head pain?
Muscles versus joints; it’s a battle with no victor.
TMJ stands for your temporomandibular joint, your jaw joint. If your jaw joint is not aligned properly, your jaw muscles strain to pull it into alignment, but, because the aligned position isn’t comfortable for your joint, it resists.
When your strong jaw muscles eventually tire, your face and neck muscles are recruited to help with the struggle. Over time, the conflict can cause the muscles of your jaw, neck and face to cramp and squeeze the nerves that run through them. Once your nerves are involved, headaches and migraines are inevitable. When you jaw muscles battle your jaw joint, no one wins.
- Does your jaw hurt when you eat or talk?
- Do you hear a popping or cracking noise in your jaw?
- Does your jaw often feel tired?
- Do you feel a persistent ache in your jaw?
- Does your jaw sometimes lock?
- Do your neck or shoulders ache?
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, a TMJ disorder may be causing your headaches.
Neuromuscular dentistry can relieve your TMJ pain
At my San Jose/Los Gatos Topdown Dental practice I start off by looking into the history of your health. Then I carry out a complete analysis of your mouth and jaw, checking the function of your teeth, muscles. This investigation, plus state-of-the-art tests if required, allows me to plan an effective treatment for you. Using a variety of treatments such as therapy, orthotics, teeth restoration, or, in some cases surgery, I can help bring balance back to your jaw joints, your muscles, and your teeth.
It’s hard to live a successful, happy life when you are plagued with headaches or migraines. When you are in pain, even the simplest tasks can seem daunting and the joy from simple pleasures is knocked out. If you suspect you have a TMJ disorder I can help you find a long term solution for your head pain.