Recurring headaches, especially in the morning or upon waking, are often an undiagnosed sign of a temporomandibular disorder (TMD). At Capital Region Compete Dental Care and Implants in Cohoes, NY, Dr. Frederick Marra offers diagnosis and treatment for headaches related to a TMD, or bite disorder.
Commonly referred to as TMJ headaches, this type of pain is the result of pressure being placed in the jaw joint due to an imbalance in the bite and subsequent teeth grinding or jaw clenching. The radiating tension commonly leads to headaches, ear pain, neck pain and jaw pain. Dr. Marra will perform a thorough evaluation of the function of your jaw joints, looking for signs of instability. He will also look for the common signs of teeth grinding, such as worn teeth or cracked teeth. Many patients do not realize they are grinding their teeth while they sleep or during stressful situations.
Common Symptoms of TMJ
Frequent headaches are just one of the common signs of a bite disorder, many of which are often misdiagnosed in many patients. Effective treatment will restore your daily quality of life and provide a comfortable, functional bite. Common signs can include:
- Facial pain (often in the temporal region or sides of face)
- Pain in the neck and/or older shoulders
- Migraine, or migraine like headaches, especially in the morning
- Earache or feeling of fullness in the ears
Treating TMJ Headaches
Dr. Marra will discuss your dental concerns, review your health history and perform a thorough dental exam before recommending appropriate treatment for TMJ headaches and related symptoms. Treatment options can include an oral appliance, such as a TMJ mouthguard, and/or bite correction therapy to address problems with the alignment of the teeth and jaw joints.
TMJ Mouthguard – We may recommend a custom removable appliance that is worn during sleep or in stressful situations. The purpose of this conservative treatment is to reduce or prevent teeth grinding and clenching and therefore reduce the occurrence of chronic, TMJ related headaches.
Bite Correction – Headaches often result from an unbalanced bite. Dr. Marra may recommend restorative treatments such as dental crowns, bonding or orthodontics to reshape or realign the teeth and balance the bite for long term dental health.