Almost everyone has an occasional headache, although they can be brought on by a number of different things. One contributing factor could be your jaw.
Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the sliding hinge that controls the bottom part of your jaw so that you can eat, drink, and speak. If this joint gets inflamed from grinding your teeth, chewing gum too often, or anything else that causes you to overuse it, you could develop temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), which can lead to headaches.
Our team at Union Square Dental offers some solutions on how you can remedy TMD-related headaches.
What can lead to TMD?
The TMJ is like any other joint in your body. Your jawbone is covered with cartilage and shock-absorbing tissue. However, if the tissue or cartilage starts to wear away, moving your jaw could become painful. Sustaining an injury to your jaw could also cause issues with how well your TMJ can function.
What are the symptoms of TMD?
Signs of TMD can include the following:
- Jaw pain on one or both sides
- General pain in your jaw
- Pain while chewing
- Pain around your whole face
- Pain in or around your ears
- Restricted jaw motion
- Worn-down teeth
Headaches aren’t the most common symptom of TMD, but they can definitely still happen. It’s worth investigating with our team if you have TMD if you aren’t sure what’s causing your headaches.
How can TMD be treated?
When seeking treatment for TMD, it’s best to start with the most conservative options first.
You can start with making minor lifestyle changes like moving away from hard-to-chew foods and avoiding gum. You can also try taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications for pain relief. Non-medication options include using ice packs and heat compresses to help with both swelling and pain relief.
If your TMD is caused by grinding your teeth, you can try using some relaxing techniques to help reduce your stress levels. At-home exercises are a great way to help strengthen the muscles supporting your jaw.
If those conservative treatments aren’t helping, more aggressive treatments might be suggested like appliances to stop nighttime teeth grinding. Straightening crooked teeth through Invisalign® could help to resolve issues related to your TMJ.
If you’d like more information on TMD and its symptoms, you can call our office located in New York, New York at 212-675-7877 to schedule an appointment today.