Minimizing TMJ Disorder Pain and Headaches
Many people suffer from recurring headaches, facial pain, and tension around the jaw. Some individuals may write these symptoms off as a result of stress, tension, or migraines, and never seek treatment to address the true cause of the condition. In many cases, frequent headaches are actually the result of dental misalignment or TMJ disorder.
Dr. Andrew G. Mortensen offers TMJ treatment to relieve tension in the jaw and alleviate pain and headaches. Here we discuss how TMJ disorder leads to pain and headaches, and how treatment can help our Fountain Valley, CA, patients align the jaw to improve oral comfort and reduce headaches.
What Is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ disorder is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint, which is the hinge that connects the jawbone to the skull. This joint allows the jaw to open and close so that people can bite, chew, yawn, and speak comfortably. If this joint is out of place, or doesn’t sit in proper alignment, the functions of the jaw become compromised, resulting in TMJ disorder.
TMJ disorder has a number of potential symptoms, including:
- Limited jaw movement (the inability to open or close the mouth completely)
- Lock jaw (the jaw remaining stuck in one position)
- Pain or stiffness in the jaw
- Difficulty chewing
- Ear pain or ringing in the ears
- Facial pain
Why Does TMJ Disorder Cause Headaches?
Even if our Fountain Valley patients are familiar with TMJ disorder, they are unlikely to associate recurring headaches with this condition. Since TMJ disorder directly affects the jaw, most don’t realize that it can also result in facial pain, earaches, and headaches.
When a person suffers from TMJ disorder, the muscles and ligaments surrounding the joint become tense and inflamed. This inflammation travels to surrounding facial muscles and possibly those in the neck. Inflamed muscles are likely to spasm as they tighten. Spasms and inflammation can lead to pain in the face, head, and/or neck.
Treating TMJ Disorder to Alleviate Pain and Headaches
TMJ disorder tends to affect people in waves. Someone may have a flare-up that causes pain and headaches for several weeks, and then go many weeks or months without any issues. While these periods of relief are nice, those who suffer from TMJ disorder deserve a more permanent solution.
Dr. Mortensen offers TMJ disorder treatment at his Fountain Valley dental practice. TMJ treatment addresses the source of TMJ pain to relax the temporomandibular joint and surrounding facial muscles, and alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms of this condition.
Dr. Mortensen focuses on treating TMJ disorder through neuromuscular dentistry, which is meant to correct a misaligned jaw. There are several methods that may be used to bring the jaw into its ideal position. Depending on the extent of misalignment, patients may be treated with a custom mouth guard, orthodontic treatment, or in severe cases, surgery. Each treatment plan is completely customized to the unique needs of the patient.
If you suffer from recurring headaches, Dr. Andrew G. Mortensen can help you determine if TMJ disorder is the cause. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Mortensen, contact our dental practice online, or call (714) 964-4183 at your earliest convenience.