Headaches & Jaw Pain

Relief from Dental Headaches & Jaw Pain

If you constantly experience headaches or migraines, but don’t know why, you may suffer from temporomandibular disorder. Also called TMJ or TMD, the condition can contribute to chronic earaches, jaw pain, shoulder and neck pain, an inability to completely open and close your mouth, and popping or clicking of your jaw joints.

What Is TMJ Disorder?

TMJs, or temporomandibular joints, are located just behind the innermost teeth in your jaw. They hold the jaw, or mandible, to the skull’s temporal bones – thus the name. Properly aligned TMJ joints allow the mouth to move freely, without pain or problems. Misaligned joints, however, can lead to pain and habitual, involuntary teeth grinding, called bruxism. Stress, injury, tooth wear, tooth damage, jaw malformation, and tooth misalignment can contribute to TMJ disorder. Muscles and nerves around the jaw joints must work overtime to hold the jaw in proper position for normal function if the joints are not aligned correctly. Overstressed muscles and nerves can send pain signals to the brain, and in some cases, the muscles contract during sleep, causing bruxism. Continual clenching and grinding of teeth causes tooth wear and breakage, elevating the problem.

Treating TMJ Disorder & Bruxism

For mild to moderate TMJ disorder, and for bruxism, an oral appliance may help. An NTI appliance, (or another type of bite appliance based on individual needs), usually worn while sleeping, can often relieve the painful and degenerative symptoms of TMJ disorder. If your TMJ pain is not relieved with the NTI appliance, stress relief exercises, or simple habit changes (no gum chewing, for instance), then we may refer you to a specialist.

Alleviate chronic headaches & jaw pain

Headaches and chronic jaw pain can often be symptoms of TMJ disorder or other bite dysfunction. To learn how we can help you alleviate yours, schedule an appointment by calling Syosset Dental today at 516-433-2211 or 516-921-1678. We proudly serve the residents of Syosset, Long Island, Nassau, Suffolk, and all surrounding New York City communities.