One in 10 Americans is affected by chronic headaches. The American Academy of Craniofacial Pain attributes 80% of headaches to muscle tension. In some cases, this tension can be a result of a TMJ disorder or occlusal disease.
If you experience frequent headaches, be sure to mention them at your next visit to New Orleans dentists Dr. Maria Burmaster and Valerie Hemphill. Our office is experienced with the diagnosis and management of headaches caused by dental related problems.
How Headaches Relate To Dentistry
One of the more common symptoms that patients with TMJ disorder share are frequent headaches. These “TMJ headaches” often occur in the morning as a result of clenching and grinding during sleep. Other signs that could indicate TMJ headaches are:
- Pain in the temporal region
- Neck pain
- Migraine, or migraine like headaches
- Frequent earaches without infection
TMJ Headache Therapy
If you suspect that your headaches are caused by TMJ, teeth grinding or other dental problems, the first step is an evaluation with a dentist. Dr. Burmaster and Dr. Hemphill will review your dental and medical history and examine the fit of your bite and alignment of the TMJ.
Depending on the dentist’s findings, one or several treatments may be recommended. Treatment may include an oral appliance, such as a TMJ mouthguard, and/or bite correction therapy which would solve problems with the alignment of teeth and TMJ joints.
- TMJ Mouthguard – A custom removable appliance that is worn during sleep. The purpose of this treatment is to reduce or prevent teeth grinding and clenching and therefore reduce the occurrence of morning headaches.
- Bite Correction – Headaches often result from mal-aligned occlusion, or an unbalanced bite. Dr. Burmaster and Dr. Hemphill can solve this issue through a series of adjustments, bringing the teeth into proper alignment. This type of treatment may also include reshaping the teeth, orthodontics, and restorative dentistry (crowns, bridges or implants) depending on your condition.