Headaches And TMJ

If you are one of the millions of people suffering with daily headaches that have been undiagnosed – it is time to talk to your dentist. Manhattan, NY Dentist Dr. Jocelyn Tan-Chu treats patients with a range of dental problems, including TMJ disorders which can often be the underlying cause of recurring headaches. Effective treatment for a bite disorder can alleviate your pain and improve your oral health.

What is TMJ?

The term TMJ actually refers to the jaw joint, or temporomandibular joint. This joint is where the jaw attaches to the skull and it facilitates speaking and chewing. If there is stress in this joint due to an imbalance somewhere in the jaw or teeth grinding, it can lead to many painful symptoms:

  • Headaches, including migraines
  • Jaw pain and dysfunction (clicking, popping and locking)
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Ear pain or loss of hearing

Dr. Tan-Chu will evaluate your occlusion, or bite, during routine visits and look for signs of teeth grinding such as worn or damaged teeth. Reducing the tension in the TMJ caused by malocclusion or teeth grinding will alleviate headaches and other possible symptoms. This can be accomplished with appropriate treatment- addressing the underlying cause for lasting comfort and a healthy smile.

Treatment for TMJ Headaches

Your treatment will depend on the severity of your problem and whether there is a need for tooth repair or realigning the bite.

  • Mouth guard or night guard: the most conservative option for patients who may be grinding their teeth but show no signs of wear or damage, a custom fit mouth guard can align the jaw joints and prevent muscle tension as a result of teeth grinding.
  • Restorative dentistry: Dr. Tan-Chu may recommend restorative procedures to repair worn teeth or adjust the bite. These can include tooth bonding and dental crowns.
  • Orthodontics: for patients with crooked or misaligned teeth that are affecting the bite, braces may be recommended to improve dental health and TMJ symptoms.

If you have been experiencing recurring headaches or migraines with no relief from traditional treatment options, discuss your concerns with Dr. Tan-Chu at your next visit, or make an appointment. You may have an undiagnosed bite TMJ disorder. Call our office or go online today.