Many patients do not realize that chronic headaches could be associated with their oral health. For this reason, misdiagnosis and ineffective treatments are common and can become frustrating. Chronic headaches can interfere with your daily life and may begin to diminish your quality of life. If you suffer from chronic headaches, facial pain or jaw pain, schedule an appointment or discuss your symptoms with Dr. Kevin or Dr. Kami Marr at your next routine dental visit.
Chronic headaches are frequently a side effect of a disorder known as TMJ or TMD.TMJ is the misalignment or malfunction of the temporomandibular joint. Often caused by crooked teeth or malocclusion, symptomatic treatment options may not be effective at relieving headaches. Drs. Kami and Kevin Marr are graduates of the Dawson Academy and have advanced training and experience treating complex concerns related to the function of the bite. They offer personalized and comprehensive treatment plans that address the cause of TMJ related symptoms such as headaches. The goal of your treatment is to restore the comfort of the bite and function of the jaw.
Chronic Headaches and Teeth Grinding
TMJ is a progressive condition that can lead to the deterioration of your oral health. Early diagnosis and effective treatment are essential to protect the health and function of the teeth, gums and bite. TMJ can lead to a full spectrum of oral health concerns including tooth loss, gum disease, and bone deterioration. Headaches are only one of the many symptoms of TMJ. Patients with TMJ may also experience jaw pain, neck pain, worn teeth, crooked teeth, or teeth grinding.
Teeth grinding is a common cause for chronic headaches, especially if they occur in the morning. Grinding of teeth can damage the jaw, erode teeth, and cause teeth to loosen and even fall out. It can be difficult to know if you are grinding your teeth as it often occurs while patients sleep. Regular dental exams can help catch teeth grinding early as dentists can easily spot the signs of worn teeth.
Treatment Options for TMJ Headaches
There are many types of treatments that can be highly effective at reducing or eliminating chronic headaches associated with TMJ. A thorough analysis of your bite, teeth, and gums will help Dr. Marr accurately treat the cause of the malocclusion. Dr. Marr will work with you to build a personalized treatment plan for effective treatment. Options can include:
- Mouthguards or night guards: a custom fit oral appliance that fits like a sports mouthguard and is designed to reposition the jaw for better teeth contact and improved comfort.
- Restorative Dentistry: through a process known as bite equilibration, we may recommend a range of treatments to change the shape or biting surface of one or more teeth for better biting function and tooth contact.
- Orthodontics: if malocclusion is the underlying dental concern affecting the function of your bite, we will work with you to coordinate orthodontic treatment with a local specialist.
If you experience chronic headaches or other painful symptoms of a TMJ related disorder, contact our Greeley, CO dentist to schedule an appointment . We welcome patients from Greeley and many local communities including Loveland, Garden City, Eaton and Windsor, CO. Contact our office at (970) 514-7010 or request an appointment online.