If you or anyone you know has been having sleepless nights as a result of chronic jaw pain, it could be that they are suffering from Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disorder. Symptoms include difficulty chewing foods without discomfort, increased headaches and the inability to move the mouth freely.As a person searches for methods to help in…
How Can a Headache Dentist Help With TMJ Pain?
When someone is experiencing TMJ pain, their priority would be getting relief, which a headache dentist specializes in. In this article, you will learn about Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ), the symptoms, and how a headache dentist can help provide substantial relief to TMJ pain.
What is TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint is a joint linking the lower jaw to the temporal bones of the skull. The joint enables the jaw to move up, down, and sideways for talking, chewing, and even yawning. If there is a problem with this joint, its usage may cause pain, amidst other symptoms, including:
- Difficulty opening the mouth wide – the jaws may lock when the mouth is closed or opened
- Clicking, popping, or grinding noise when opening or closing the jaw
- Other symptoms include dizziness, toothache, headaches, neck aches, and earache
- Pain in the facial muscles and spasms
It is sometimes hard to tell if the pain is caused by TMJ or not. TMJ truly causes pain, but it is easy to confuse TMJ pain with the pain caused by sinus pressure and tension headache. It is vital that patients visit a headache dentist once they start experiencing discomfort to have their symptoms checked.
Since the symptoms of TMJ are the same as some health issues such as gum disease, sinus issues, arthritis, or cavities, the headache dentist will first perform a physical examination to rule out other health conditions. This may include taking x-rays of the jaw and testing the patient’s bite. X-ray scans reveal problems that may be invisible during physical examination. The examination will show the condition of the jaws and what is causing TMJ pain. The headache dentist may request for the patient’s medical history to know if they suffer from any health problems that may be aggravating the problem.
What treatment options are available from the headache dentist?
A headache dentist is experienced in treating TMJ and is, therefore, able to help patients based on their symptoms. If a patient has been diagnosed with TMJ, the following are the treatment options that may help to alleviate the pain:
Depending on the severity of pain, the dentist may prescribe an NSAID for pain and inflammation. If the TMJ disorder is caused by stress and anxiety, the patient may be given anti-anxiety medications to relieve the cause of the disorder.
If the patient grinds their teeth, which is a common cause of TMJ pain, the headache dentist may provide a custom mouthguard for use during sleep to curb the effect of bruxism.
In severe cases of TMJ disorder, the headache dentist may recommend extensive treatment options such as oral surgery or laser therapy.
Dealing with mouth and jaw pain can be very inconvenient. If you notice any of the symptoms of TMJ disorder, consider reaching out to a headache dentist as soon as possible for an appointment. The earlier the diagnosis and treatment, the faster you start to get relief from the pain and return to your normal routine.
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