Not another headache! You woke up with one yesterday and the day before. In fact, it seems that headaches, stiff neck, and a sore jaw are just becoming part of everyday life. People have started commenting on the way your jaw cracks, pops and snaps when you chew or yawn. You are getting really sick of the pain and annoyance. What could be wrong? You pop a few ibuprofen and hope you can get through the workday before a real migraine sets in. What else can you do?
If this sounds like what you have been living with, you could be suffering from TMJ dysfunction. Dr. Dustin Van Tassell and Burkburnett Family Dental are specially trained in diagnosing this painful disorder and can help you find the relief you need and deserve.
Why Do I Always Have a Headache When my Doctor Says Nothing is Wrong?
Even if your doctor has had a difficult time diagnosing your headaches, you can find natural, non-invasive relief – from your dentist! Often chronic headaches, combined with jaw noise and upper body pain originate in TMJ dysfunction (more commonly known as TMD or TMJ), a disorder of the temporomandibular joints. This dysfunction is caused by disharmony between your jaw joint and the way your teeth come together.
People develop TMJ disorder for all kinds of reasons. It can start with trauma, such as whiplash during an accident, a fall, or a blow to the face. Unbalanced dental work or tooth loss could be to blame. Even gum disease can cause teeth to loosen and become unbalanced. Most commonly, though, TMD is related to dental grinding and clenching, which can be caused by anything from stress to certain medications. Some people don’t even realize they are clenching because they only clench at night during their sleep!
How Can I Know If I Have TMJ?
The symptoms of TMD are so diverse, and sometimes so strange, that many people worry that their doctors will think they are crazy if they talk about them. Here are some of the most common symptoms we look for when diagnosing TMD:
Headaches or migraines
Stiffness or soreness in the neck, shoulders, and back
Tingling of the fingertips
Numbness in your fingers or arms
Sensitive teeth or loose teeth
Clenching or grinding
Ringing in the ears
Limited mouth opening
Not on this list, but also very common in TMJ sufferers, is depression. If you have been dealing with a list of symptoms as long as your arm and you feel depressed, it’s time to call Burkburnett Family Dental. We will listen to your concerns without judgment and work hard to help you find relief.
How Can Burkburnett Family Dental Help Me?
We treat our TMJ disorder patients with neuromuscular dentistry to determine the optimal position of the jaw – first by measuring the relaxed position of the head and neck muscles, and then by repositioning the jaw to achieve those exact measurements. Our treatments for getting your jaw and bite in the correct position could include the prescription of an orthotic to help hold your bite in a comfortable position and train your mouth into place, or by adjusting your bite with crowns, veneers or other restorations. You’ll feel better than ever, protect your teeth and look healthier and more confident than you thought possible!
For more information on how we can help you find relief and get back to feeling great,