TMD/TMJ and Headaches
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMD, is generally associated with pain in the jaw, neck, or shoulder. However, it can also cause headache pain. It's estimated that a high percentage of people who have been unable to successfully treat recurring headaches are suffering from undiagnosed TMJ.
The temporomandibular joint is a complicated system, affected by the jaw joint itself, the muscles surrounding it, and the teeth. The nerves running through this part of the head and neck carry signals throughout the face, head, neck, and down into the shoulders. Compression of this nerve due to TMD can cause severe migraines that are very difficult to diagnose.
Using special diagnostic equipment such as the K7 Diagnostic System, Dr. Quigless can determine if your headache pain is, indeed, caused by TMD. If it appears that TMD treatment could lessen your headaches, he'll formulate a personalized treatment plan.
Dr. Quigless treats TMJ using a Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation (TENS) unit. This device uses electrical stimulation to completely relax the muscles around the temporomandibular joint, helping Dr. Quigless determine the joint's correct positioning. He can then adjust your bite with orthodontic or dental work to maintain this correct position permanently. He also uses specially designed mouth guards to wear at night. These mouth guards help train your jaw to stay in the correct position.
With your jaw correctly aligned, and the temporomandibular joint working freely, headache pain caused by TMD will disappear.
If you're not sure if your headaches are caused by TMD, look for the following additional symptoms:
- Popping or clicking sounds in the jaw joint
- Nocturnal tooth grinding
- Uneven wear on your teeth
- Habitual jaw clenching
Any of these additional issues could be an indication that your headache pain is related to TMJ.
If you suffer from recurring headaches and have had difficulty finding their root cause, please contact Dr. Kirk Quigless, St. Louis neuromuscular dentist, to have your headaches diagnosed. If you're diagnosed with TMD, it could be the first step to being pain-free.
8083 Manchester Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63144