Do you frequently experience headaches or migraines, but have yet to identify the cause? For some, this pain could be related to a jaw joint disorder known as TMJ disorder, or TMD. How do we diagnose this issue, and when should you see your dentist to discuss possible treatment options?
TMJ Disorder and Headaches
TMJ disorder is an oral health concern that develops when intense pressure is placed on the temporomandibular joints, which control the actions needed to eat and speak. This pressure could lead to painful headaches and migraines, popping or clicking in the jaw, pain in the face or jaw, and an increased risk of teeth grinding. Causes of the strain may include tooth loss, misalignment, bite imbalance, teeth grinding, stress, or injury to the face or jaw.
Diagnosing Your Jaw Joint Strain
In order to prescribe the most appropriate treatment option, we will need to first understand the cause of your TMJ issues and accurately assess the severity. To do this, we will perform a thorough exam using advanced technology. We will use x-rays to obtain a clear picture of the jaw joints and assess your bite balance. We then look carefully at the teeth for signs of wear and friction and other indicators of TMD or bruxism. From there, we can decide which treatment option will best address your oral health issues and restore function to your smile.
How Do We Treat the Disorder?
When you feel strain or uncomfortable symptoms, consider taking a pain reliever and placing a warm compress against the side of the face. Try to cut back on caffeinated products, as well as hard or chewy foods. Treatment could include orthodontics to correct misalignment, or possibly a custom restoration to help improve bite balance, such as a crown. Other times, we may recommend an oral appliance. Worn at night, this device will reposition the jaw to ease strain. The device looks and fits much like a mouthguard. We custom-make them based on detailed impressions, images, and measurements we gather of your smile, ensuring a comfortable fit and treatment with accuracy and precision. If you have any questions about identifying and treating TMD, or if you need to schedule a consultation for diagnosis, then contact our team today. We’re here to help you enjoy optimal oral health and a beautiful, comfortable smile!
Ready to See Us for Preventive Dental Care?
If you have headaches and jaw pain then your smile may be suffering from TMJ disorder! Fortunately, we can identify and treat this common jaw joint disorder. To find out more about diagnosing and treating TMD, schedule a consultation with Dr. Keller by calling Cedar West Family Dentistry in Richfield, MN, today at (612) 861-7188.