Mysterious Headaches? Think “TMJ Disorder”

woman with tmj disorder headacheHeadaches aren’t always the first thing people think of when they think of dental discomfort, but many people with seemingly-unexplained headaches can blame an oral health issue. Aside from trouble with your jaw’s movement and varying types of pain, headaches are another common sign of a jaw dysfunction known as TMJ disorder. The condition affects your jaw’s joints, or TMJs. Unfortunately, patients who experience TMJ disorder headaches may endure for years before learning that their discomfort is dental-related.

What Is a TMJ Headache?

Your temporomandibular joints (TMJs) connect your lower jaw to your skull, and are extremely close to the trigeminal nerves responsible for your mouth’s movement. These nerves also supply sensory information for much of your facial structures. When they’re disturbed by TMJ disorder, the pain can manifest as chronic headaches, as well as jaw pain, earaches, and more.

Finding Common Causes

When a cavity forms, or you develop gingivitis, the cause is fairly easy to trace back to the bacteria found in dental plaque (which makes prevention relatively easy). When it comes to TMJ disorder, however, the causes aren’t always clear, or involve multiple issues that must be addressed to restore your jaw health and relieve your headaches. Some of the more-frequently related issues can include;

  • stress, which can cause tension in your jaw muscles
  • crooked teeth, which can throw your bite off-balance
  • and habitual teeth-grinding, also known as bruxism, that can exhaust your jaw’s muscles and joints.

Headache Relief Through Dental Treatment

If you experience chronic headaches, including migraines, and have not been able to find an accurate diagnosis to explain why, then speak with your dentist today about TMJ disorder. After a thorough examination, we can help you determine if jaw dysfunction is an issue, and how you can find relief from TMJ disorder headaches through an appropriate, case-specific treatment.

ABOUT YOUR CORONA DENTISTS:

With offices throughout Riverside Country, including Corona, Temecula, and Moreno Valley, Riverside Dental Group is happy to provide advanced general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry services to patients of all ages. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, call our office today at (951) 689-5031.