mature adult woman holding her head in painIf you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from headaches associated with TMJ, also known as TMD, you are likely researching how disorders of the temporomandibular joint and headaches are linked. You may be reading about Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment, which is a hands-on treatment method for a whole host of medical issues, including headaches, back pain, disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and even influenza.

Doctors of osteopathic medicine, known as D.O.s, utilize the various OMT techniques by moving a person’s limbs into different positions. Slow movements and continuous pressure may be used, or the D.O. may use quick, sudden movements for the treatment of chronic pain.

While OMT is gaining in popularity because it is a holistic approach to healing that does not often call for medications or surgery, the very same concepts are used in neuromuscular dentistry to treat TMD/TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder). If you experience headaches that are associated with muscle tension in the jaw, neck, and shoulders, or if you have headaches that feel migraine-like in intensity, it may be time to visit a Southlake, Texas, neuromuscular dentist who has experience diagnosing and treating the many symptoms of TMD, including headaches.

TMD/TMJ Symptoms

There are many symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder, but the most common symptoms of TMD in Southlake, Texas, are:

  • Jaw pain
  • Jaw tightness
  • Locked jaw
  • Facial pain
  • Clicking/popping noises in the jaw
  • Shoulder pain
  • Arm/hand/finger pain or numbness
  • Headache
  • Ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain

The TMJ headaches seen most by Southlake neuromuscular dentists are tension headaches that involve the face, cheeks, and head pain. The temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the skull, so a TMJ headache may affect every area of the head and face. People with TMJ-related headaches may also experience:

  • Pain in the ears
  • Pain in the temples
  • Pain above or behind the eyes
  • Pain or difficulty chewing
  • Swollen face
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)

While the numerous symptoms of TMD may not, at first, seem related, they are, and it takes an experienced Southlake, Texas, neuromuscular dentist to evaluate the temporomandibular joints with advanced dental technology to diagnose and then treat temporomandibular joint disorder. It’s a progressive, degenerative condition that will likely get worse if left untreated. The symptoms of TMJ are painful and often debilitating, so it’s important to seek out a Southlake neuromuscular dentist soon after symptoms are realized.

Causes of TMJ/TMD Headaches

You may be wondering what causes TMJ and TMJ-related headaches; the answer is that there are many different causes of disorders of the temporomandibular joint.

  • Malocclusion (misalignment of the upper and lower jaws)
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching, mostly at night)
  • Excessive gum chewing
  • Dislocation of the jaw joints
  • Connective tissue disorders of the jaw joint
  • Malformation of the joint from birth
  • Arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or inflammatory arthritis)
  • Damage or displacement of the meniscus disc
  • Damage to the TMJ due to a blow to the face or a motor vehicle collision

Treatment for TMD Headaches

Neuromuscular dentistry and cosmetic dentistry in Southlake, Texas, utilize a number of the principles of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment in that the whole body is examined to plan a treatment course for the temporomandibular joint disorder. Using a number of treatment modalities, including TENS (transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation), massage, anti-inflammatories, and oral appliances to gradually move the jaw joints, neuromuscular dentists in Southlake are helping numerous TMJ sufferers minimize their painful symptoms and live a life free of TMD headaches.

TMJ exercises for jaw pain have helped many headache sufferers live a normal life, and bite splints, also known as occlusal splints worn during the day and night, have eased the painful symptoms of TMD for many patients. Changing to a soft-food diet and improving posture are just a couple of the very conservative ways to treat TMJ headaches in Southlake, Texas.

Get TMD Headache Relief in Southlake, Texas

If you’ve been experiencing headaches, you may have TMD/TMJ, but there’s help available. Star Image Dental Boutique & Oral Surgery has advanced dental technology to diagnose TMJ, and our neuromuscular dentists and oral surgeons have years of experience treating the painful symptoms of TMJ. Let Star Image Dental Boutique & Oral Surgery design a TMJ treatment plan that works. Please call (817) 587-4566 or fill out our online contact form, so one of our dental team members can reach out to help.