Everyone has suffered from a headache at some point in their life. Recurring or frequent headaches, however, are not normal and indicate a problem that could be dental related. Norfolk, VA dentist Dr. John Cranham has advanced training and experience in diagnosing and treating patients who have frequent headaches as a result of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD), which is a disorder that arises from issues with your bite. He is the clinical director for The Dawson Academy where he teaches dentists from around the world the foundations for a healthy occlusion (bite) and TMJ.
Headaches are among the most misdiagnosed conditions in medicine. Drawing the connection between headaches and a TMJ disorder can be difficult for most physicians and dentists. The TMJ is the hinge that connects the jaw to the skull, allowing you to talk, chew, and move your jaw. A TMJ headache is a type of tension headache that is often caused by teeth clenching or teeth grinding. When the teeth do not make proper contact and the jaws are not in proper alignment, it creates stress and tension in the muscles and face, causing headaches to occur. Tension in the jaw and mouth throughout the day also contributes to chronic headaches and migraines.
TMJ Headache Symptoms
- Pain in the temples or back of the head
- Morning headaches
- Pain in the shoulders, neck and upper back
- Migraine headaches
- Teeth grinding, teeth clenching
TMJ Headache Treatment
You seek help from Norfolk dentist, Dr. Cranham if you are experiencing headaches that are coupled with other symptoms of a TMJ disorder. These symptoms include:
- Shoulder, neck, facial, or jaw pain
- Clicking or popping in the jaw when opening or closing it
- Locked jaw or limited mobility in the jaw joint
- Teeth clenching
- Pain around the ears or earaches
- Teeth grinding often accompanied by worn, chipped or broken teeth
- Pain in the jaw
At your appointment, Dr. Cranham will perform a bite analysis to evaluate your jaw joints and determine if your headaches are caused by a TMJ disorder. The key is to identify the causative issues and manage them as conservatively as possible. He offers a wide a range of solutions for patients seeking a cure for a TMJ headache as well as TMJ treatments for TMJ disorders in general. This may involve simple oral appliance therapy, using a night guard or splint and bite correction therapies. Advanced bite correction therapy involves reshaping the teeth so that they make proper contact. It is important to keep in mind that TMJ problems can be progressive in nature and the earlier that this concern is identified, the more conservative the solution may be.
Schedule a Consultation
If you experience frequent headaches and migraines, you owe it to yourself to schedule a consultation with Dr. John Cranham. A simple bite analysis and consultation can reveal whether you suffer from TMJ dysfunction. He offers many treatments for a TMJ headache in the Norfolk, VA and Chesapeake, VA area. Call our dentist office at 757-656-4109 or schedule an appointment online.