If you suffer from frequent headaches or notice you often wake up with a headache in the morning, you could be suffering from Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD). TMJ headaches are often overlooked or misdiagnosed by physicians. Skokie, IL dentist, Dr. Jessie Kunnel has special experience diagnosing and treating patients who suffer from TMJ headaches and migraines.
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:
- Facial pain (often in the temporal region or sides of face)
- Pain in the neck and/or older shoulders
- Migraine, or migraine like headaches
- Earache or feeling of fullness in the ears
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 the dentist. Dr. Kunnel will review your dental and medical history and examine the fit of your bite and alignment of the TMJ. Depending on your condition, 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 an unbalanced bite. Dr. Kunnel 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.