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Can Chronic Headaches Be Associated With My Oral Health?

Everyone has had a headache at some point in their life. Frequent or recurring headaches, however, are not normal and indicate a problem that could be dental related. Annapolis, MD dentist Dr. Scott Finlay has advanced training and experience to diagnose and treat patients who have headaches as a result of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD).

Dr. Finlay utilizes the latest technology and techniques in managing TMD such as computer-assisted occlusal analysis and CT/MRI scans.

WHO IS AFFECTED?

Adults between the ages of 20 and 40 are most likely to experience headaches and facial pain as a result of TMD.

WHAT CAUSES A TMJ HEADACHE?

While it’s not known what causes a TMD, it could be something as simple as consistent teeth grinding. TMJ pain has been reported in 1 in 10 people, and TMD has been reported in almost half of the population of the United States.

There are no specific statistics about TMJ headaches because it can be hard to distinguish between general headaches and TMJ headaches.

The muscles of the TMJ run along your jaw and cheeks, and sometimes these muscles can cause pain — even headaches. When the muscles in your jaw tense up — like when you grind your teeth — the pain can spread to other TMJ muscles alongside your cheeks and on the sides and top of your head, causing a headache.

A TMJ headache might also result from TMJ issues related to osteoarthritis, joint hypermobility, or osteoporosis.

TMJ HEADACHE TREATMENT

Dr. Finlay offers a wide range of solutions for patients seeking a cure for TMJ headaches. The key is to identify the causative issues and manage them as conservatively as possible. This may involve physical therapy, medications, splints and bite correction therapies. It is important to keep in mind that TMJ problems can be progressive in nature and the earlier that this concern is identified, the more conservative the solution may be.

  • Splints and Night Guards for TMJ Headaches– Dental splints and night guards are a frontline therapy for headaches. For many patients, they are highly effective and conservative in treating headaches. Dr. Finlay custom fabricates appliances that bring the teeth and jaw joints into proper alignment, managing teeth grinding or clenching and alleviate muscle tension. A dental splint is worn at night, though some patients benefit from wearing the device during the day.
  • Bite Correction Procedures– Bite correction procedures which bring the teeth and jaws into proper alignment. Dr. Finlay uses a number of treatments including bite adjustments (equilibration), orthodontics or even dental restorations (crowns or veneers).

Schedule a consultation

Don’t mask headache symptoms with pain medication. For lasting treatment, schedule a consultation with Scott Finlay, DDS & Associates, PA to find out if your headaches are linked to a dental problem.

Call our Annapolis, MD dentist office at 443–276–4094 or request an appointment online.