Does it seem like you are always dealing with a headache? If so, you could be suffering from a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. Active, but rather delicate, the TMJs are located on either side of the face just below and forward of the earlobes. These joints control the opening and closing of the mouth, but respond poorly to strain, which is the cause of TMJ disorders. To learn more about the connection between TMJ disorders and headaches, read the following information from your Des Moines IA dentist, Dr. Jessica Johnson.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorders
In addition to frequent headaches, TMJ disorders have many symptoms. The more debilitating ones include earaches, facial pain, migraines, and a locked jaw. However, there are smaller signs that can indicate a looming disorder before the really debilitating symptoms begin. For instance, continual strain on the jaw can create frequent soreness and can even cause popping or clicking when the mouth opens and closes. Therefore, if you notice any of these symptoms, consult your Des Moines IA dentist, Dr. Johnson.
You may be wondering how strain in the jaw can result in headaches. Well, the answer lies with the way the nervous system serves the head and neck. This area is innervated by one major nerve off of which branch numerous smaller nerves. This nerve, called the trigeminal nerve, allows for a disorder in the jaw to manifest itself in many various ways.
Solutions to TMJ Disorders
Treatment for a TMJ disorder is dependent upon the cause of the disorder. If, for example, the disorder is caused by bruxism (teeth grinding) as many TMJ disorders are, then bruxism treatment involving an oral appliance that is to be worn at night can relieve strain on the TMJs. Orthodontic treatment may also relieve a TMJ disorder as malocclusion (“bad bite”) can also stress the TMJs.
Schedule a Visit with Your Des Moines IA Dentist
Are you struggling with frequent headaches? If so, contact your Des Moines IA dentist, Dr. Johnson, today to schedule an appointment or a consultation by calling our 50266 dentist office at 515-223-9764. We welcome patients from West Des Moines, Waukee, Clive, and nearby Des Moines metro communities.