Can My Headaches Be Linked To My Oral Health?

If you or a loved one are suffering from chronic headaches, there can be a number of causes. Additionally, if you have been unsuccessful in attempting to find the source of your headaches and your primary care physician can not pinpoint the cause either, the cause could be TMD. TMD is a condition that is related to your jaw and can be caused by an unrelated jaw injury, teeth grinding while sleeping, and stress. Our office may be able to diagnose you with a TMJ disorder in Baltimore, MD office, which may very well be the cause of your chronic headaches.

headaches in baltimore, maryland

What Are The Temporomandibular Joints?

TMJ is short for temporomandibular joint. There’s one on each side of the face, and they attach your jaw to the bottom of your skull. The TMJ muscles allow you to comfortably open and close your mouth. However, any injury, damage, or stress to these joints can cause TMJ disorders.

Patients with TMJ disorders can experience many painful symptoms, including chronic headaches and migraines. Outside of chronic headaches, patients may also experience:

  • Teeth clenching and grinding (bruxism)
  • Toothaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Worn, chipped, or cracked teeth
  • Earaches
  • Popping or clicking of the jaw
  • Numbness in the face
  • Difficulty chewing

If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms along with chronic headaches, there is a very strong chance that you may have TMD. Please contact our office and we will examine your teeth and jaw to find the right treatment for your needs.

TMD Treatment Options

If you have bruxism as a result of your TMD, you most likely also have headaches. Bruxism, or teeth clenching and grinding, is common when patients are asleep. Patients may not even realize they have TMD unless they experience morning headaches, jaw pain, and a change in their bite. Teeth grinding can sometimes cause serious damage to your teeth and gums over time.

We can make custom oral sleep appliances, or nightguards, that alleviate pressure from the jaw joints and stop bruxism. Wearing a nightguard keeps the bite aligned and prevents tooth wear. Our nightguards are made of hard acrylic to prevent patients from biting or chewing on the oral appliance. We can also recommend physical therapy for patients to learn the best exercises for their jaw. Additionally, patients can stick to a soft diet for several weeks and eat foods that may not require too much chewing. A soft diet helps the joints relax and relieves some of the pressure in the jaw muscles.

If you or someone you love is suffering from chronic headaches and having trouble diagnosing the issue, call (410) 216-4023. Dr. Byron Desbordes and his team can work with you to create a treatment plan that addresses all of your oral health needs.

Author: Dr. Desbordes