Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills and Westlake Village, CA
Nothing can ruin your day quite like a headache. Many people live with regularly occurring headaches. Are you one of them? If you’re experiencing frequent headaches, especially first thing in the morning, before reaching for the aspirin or Ibuprofen again, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Agoura Hills at Integrative Dental Arts. Your headaches may be because you’re suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder (also known as TMJ disorder or TMD).
Here’s how TMJ disorder can cause headaches
The temporomandibular joints connect your jaw to your skull on either side of your head. They allow your jaws to open and close as you talk, eat, and breathe—although chronic mouth breathing has its own set of risks. If your temporomandibular joint starts to malfunction, leading to a case of TMJ disorder, then the consequences can be serious and wide-ranging. You’re likely to notice the first symptoms related to your jaws: as pain, hearing a clicking or popping sound as they open and close, or experiencing limits in their range of motion. From there, problems can develop in the surrounding nerves and musculature. One of the nerves located close to the temporomandibular joint is the trigeminal nerve, which carries more sensory information to the brain than any neural pathway in the body. A dysfunction in the temporomandibular joint can compress, aggravate, or otherwise impact the trigeminal nerve, sending impulses of pain to the brain that lead to headaches.
Because the trigeminal nerve also is involved typically with any type of tension headache, headaches caused by TMJ disorder often may be misidentified as migraines. Have you been diagnosed with migraines but struggled to find relief? Do your migraine medications only affect the intensity of the headaches, but they continue to occur with regular frequency? If you can answer yes to either question, then TMJ disorder may be the true cause of your headaches, and they will continue until a medical professional can treat whatever is aggravating your temporomandibular joint.
Find out how your dentist can help
Dr. Kathleen Carson practices neuromuscular dentistry, an advanced specialization of dental science that emphasizes the alignment of the bite and jaw. It takes rigorous education and training to be recognized as a neuromuscular dentist, and she has studied this field at the prestigious Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, which is considered the finest post-graduate dental educational facility in the country. Dr. Carson can use her training to identify a case of TMJ disorder, and then provide relief for your symptoms.
Pain can be managed through the application of TENS stimulation, which uses low-frequency electrical impulses to relax tense facial and jaw muscles and alleviate stress on the temporomandibular joint disorder. From there, we can reposition the jaws into a more comfortable alignment, either through dental restorations or the use of custom-made oral appliances.
A headache can ruin your day, but you don’t have to let frequently occurring headaches ruin your life. Schedule an appointment with one of the neuromuscular dentists at Integrative Dental Arts today by calling (818) 889-0400 if you live in the areas of Agoura Hills and Westlake Village in Southern California.