Headaches and Jaw Pain

Your jaw joint is a complex structure. It connects your lower jaw to your skull with the help of a network of muscles, nerves, and tendons that allow you to open and close your mouth. Any type of stress, imbalance or injury to the jaw joint can cause TMJ/TMD.

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TMJ/TMD can show itself in many different forms – teeth grinding and clenching, jaw soreness, lockjaw, and chronic headaches and migraines. It doesn’t bother some people that much, while for others the chronic pain can be unbearable and can drastically impact their quality of life.

If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you, we would love to sit down and discuss your symptoms and possible treatment options. We need to determine the source before coming up with a treatment plan together. At your initial comprehensive exam we will evaluate your teeth and jaw, review your medical and dental history, and take any needed x-rays. We will also measure the range of motion of your jaw and look for misalignments and assess for any type of injury. We’ve enjoyed great success in conservatively treating with biteguards, mild tooth adjustment and at-home therapy. Custom biteguards can help if the cause is related to grinding and clenching. They can protect your teeth and allow your jaw joint to rest overnight. Orthodontics can help if your symptoms are a result of teeth and bite misalignment. There are many awareness practices and at-home techniques you can incorporate into your daily routine that may help minimize your symptoms. Awareness is the first step to recovery. Be aware of your clenching and grinding, and make an effort to stop when you feel yourself doing it. Avoid chewing gum, and use a cold compress to reduce pain and swelling. You can do gentle massage and pressure point techniques to relax the jaw, face, and neck muscles. Whatever the best treatment option, our goal is to achieve a harmonious tooth-joint-muscle relationship, and reduce the symptoms of headache, jaw and neck pain.

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