Headaches and More: About TMJ Disorder

headaches and more about tmj disorderIt’s a common malady, but most people wouldn’t associate their frequent headaches with the possibility of a dental health problem. Still, there are several dental conditions that can claim frequent headaches as one of their many symptoms, TMJ disorder among them. Named for the jaw joints, or temporomandibular joints (TMJs), the dysfunction can aggravate some of your dominant nerves, leading to a host of uncomfortable symptoms in addition to headaches.  

The Beginning of TMJ Disorder

TMJ disorder is one of the most diverse dental conditions, both in its symptoms and its causes. Usually the result of excessive pressure on your jaw joints, TMJ disorder can originate with a number of different factors, including;

  • Consistent teeth-grinding, also referred to as bruxism
  • An asymmetrical (uneven) jawbone
  • Crooked teeth, or malocclusion
  • Excessive stress, which can make your jaw muscles continuously tense
  • An injury to the mouth, jaw, or face
  • Arthritis in your jaw’s joints
  • And more

TMJ Headaches and More

The nerve group that controls your jaw’s movement is located on either side of your jaw, and is known as the trigeminal nerve group. Each nerve possesses three branches, one of each being responsible for your jaw’s movement and sensation. When your TMJs are disturbed and do not work properly, they can aggravate these nerves, leading to a host of symptoms that may include;

  • Chronic, often severe headaches
  • Popping/clicking jaw joints when you open and close your mouth
  • Dizzy spells
  • Bruxism (both a possible cause and possible symptom of TMJ disorder)
  • Jaw/facial muscle spasms
  • Recurring pain and ringing in your ears
  • Trouble with jaw movement; occasional locked jaw

How to Find Relief

To treat TMJ disorder, we first must determine its cause. Often, successful treatment depends on restoring balance and symmetry to your bite. In some cases, that can involve straightening crooked teeth, wearing oral splints to realign your lower jaw, or replacing lost teeth to reestablish your bite’s function. In most minor cases, however, you may be able to alleviate TMJ headaches and other symptoms with a custom-designed mouthguard that will help your jaw rest more comfortably when you sleep.

ABOUT YOUR FT. WORTH, TX, DENTIST:

Dr. Bob Jing has served patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth for many years. Together with his caring, compassionate, and highly-skilled team at 7 Day Dental, Dr. Jing is dedicated to making good dental health available to as many people as possible. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation or appointment, contact our office closest to you at 817-405-2001 on Jacksboro Highway, or at 817-405-0195 on Seminary Drive.