The Headaches – Bite Connection and What You Can Do to Find Relief

The Headaches – Bite Connection and What You Can Do to Find Relief

blog header for the headaches and bite link blogYou’ve got a headache…yet again. The pain radiates through your head and down your neck. It sends shooting pains into your face. Is it a tension headache? Could it be a migraine? Is it TMJ disorder, also known as TMD?

One of the leading cause of temporomandibular joint disorder is malocclusion or a “bad bite.”

What’s interesting is that a lot of people with a misaligned bite may not even be thinking of making this connection with their teeth and headaches.

What is the link between a headache and a malocclusion? And how can a dentist like Dr. Jennifer Buchanan in Airdrie help you reduce the likelihood of experiencing TMJ headaches?

The Link Between a Headache and a Misaligned Bite: Understanding the Root Cause of Your Pain

One of the most common causes of debilitating headaches and migraines is TMD.

There is a strong link between patients with chronic headaches and TMJ disorder.

The muscles, tendons, and nerves of the head and neck are intricately connected. The nerve that supplies nutrients to the jaw joints and facial muscles also branches off to various teeth.

A misalignment in our teeth that’ causing the teeth to not mesh properly puts pressure in the jaw joints and facial muscles. This is why patients with TMJ disorder not only have headaches but also jaw pain and neck pain.

If you have a headache on one side of your head, it may very likely be related to your jaw joint.

Jaw clenching and bruxism (grinding of the teeth) are also symptoms of a misaligned bite. All of these things aggravate the nerves and strain the muscles, leading to a headache.

TMJ Disorder – Why It Should Be Addressed ASAP by a Dentist with a Physiologic Approach

TMJ disorder is not something that should be taken lightly. It can have a huge impact on your life if left untreated. Some people’s symptoms get so bad that they’re unable to eat or speak properly due to the pain.

Airdrie dentist, Dr. Jennifer Buchanan, can provide you with a comprehensive TMJ treatment plan. Once we identify it is TMJ disorder causing your headaches and jaw pain. We will devise a number of treatment options which may be able to deal with the issue.

Our tools can also assist in identifying how misaligned your jaw joints are.

Physiologic Approach to Treating TMJ Headaches

We start by using a gentle muscle stimulator that massages the muscle surrounding the jaw and helps it to relax.

We may suggest that you use a TMJ splint for your treatment, which is designed to fit over your teeth. They help to prevent your lower and upper teeth from coming together. This helps to take any pressure off the jaw muscles and joints so these parts of your face can heal more quickly.

Dr. Buchanan may also design a custom-fitted orthotic device that fits inside your mouth which helps to maintain your jaw in just the right position.

This can gradually help to reduce any tension in your jaw muscle and associated jaw pain.

Orthodontic Treatment Can Often Fix Misalignment

Besides trauma, TMJ disorder can be caused by malocclusion or a misaligned bite. The teeth can shift over time, particularly if you have any missing teeth. The other teeth will shift to fill in those spaces. Other causes include crooked and/or crowded teeth.

In addition to the teeth being out of alignment, the jaw can be, as well. Some people have narrower jaws that don’t allow for proper function of the jaw or the teeth.

Other types of occlusion include:

  • Overbite
  • Overjet
  • Underjet
  • Crossbite

All of these occlusion issues can be treated with orthodontics. Spending some time in braces will put the teeth and jaw into proper alignment, allowing for better function, which leads to less tooth and jaw pain.

You First Dental – Providing a Unique Treatment Plan for Your Unique Needs

Why should you see the dental team at You First Dental if you’ve been experiencing painful headaches and jaw pain? It’s because this team will treat you as an individual and put you first.

TMJ Treatment - Airdrie AB

TMJ Treatment – Airdrie AB

Each person has unique needs. While everyone has the same basic physical makeup, people still have very diverse needs and experiences. What works for one person may not work for the next.

The team at You First Dental doesn’t believe in a cookie cutter approach to dentistry. When you seek TMJ treatment from this Airdrie dentist office, you’ll get a solution that works specifically for you. That is the only way to get lasting pain relief from horrible headache and other TMJ disorder symptoms.

Do you ever experience painful TMJ symptoms? Like debilitating headaches? Contact You First Dental to schedule an examination. We’ll find the best solution that will benefit your overall health and wellbeing.


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TMJ Pain – How You Can Finally Put an End to the Pain!

TMJ Pain – How You Can Finally Put an End to the Pain!

Do you deal with chronic head, neck, and/or facial pain?

Are you afflicted with earaches not caused by an ear infection? Have you ever experienced lockjaw – your mouth locking in a closed or open position, or limited opening?

Have you been coping with jaw popping or clicking, pain down your neck and shoulders, tight facial muscles, or difficulty chewing?

You could be suffering from TMJ Disorder. The good news is that you have options. You don’t have to keep suffering!

If you’re unsure of what your TMJ is, your temperomandibular joint is a hinge that connects your jaw to your skull and is located in front of each ear. It is the joint that allows you to move your jaw in every direction. Problems with your jaw and the muscles that control it are known as termperomandibular dysfunction.

Getting a Proper Diagnosis – How We Test for TMJ Disorder

The first step to treating TMD is to get a proper diagnosis. How do we find out what’s really going on?

First, we review all of your symptoms. We then feel and listen to your jaw as you open and close, observing the range of motion, as well as the path your jaw takes to open and close.

Other parts of the diagnostic process may include testing such as:

  • A panoramic x-ray
  • X-ray of the jaw joints
  • Impressions of your teeth to make plaster models
  • EMG – recording of muscles that support the joint
  • JVA – an electronic recording of TMJ sounds, or more accurately, vibrations occurring in the joint

These tests help us get a complete story to determine why you’re in pain and what the plan of action should be to get relief.

TMD Treatment Options to Reduce Your Symptoms

Once we have made a diagnosis of TMJ dysfunction we will create a treatment plan based on your unique situation.

We provide the following TMJ treatments:
1. Orthotic Devices:
This in an appliance that fits on your lower teeth to create more even tooth contact, which in turn allows the jaw joints to be positioned more ideally. The orthotic balances the bite, improves jaw muscle function, and creates a more harmonic joint function.
2. Nightguard/Splint:
A splint is a dental appliance that fits over either the upper or lower level and is worn at night. A night appliance can significantly reduce facial pain, joint pain, and headaches for people whose primary trigger is night time clenching and grinding. By preventing your teeth from touching, the splint takes pressure off the muscles and jaw joints.
3. Orthodontic Treatment:
If the source of your TMJ Dysfunction stems from a bad bite, orthodontic treatment can help by correcting the bite. One of the primary causes of TMJ dysfunction is a bad bite. So the goal of treating TMJ Disorder is to reduce or eliminate pain by healing the cause.
4. Botox:
Botox can relax muscles in your face and jaw that may be causing TMJ and jaw tension.

Along with some of the above treatment options, we also use a TENS Machine (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), which allows your jaw muscles to relax and detox.

You Aren’t Alone – We Can help You Find Relief from TMJ Disorder Symptoms

The pain of TMJ Disorder can make life miserable. Everyone deserves the opportunity to have this problem treated. When you come into our office, you’ll be shown kindness, care, and compassion – we put you first! We understand your pain and want to help you find relief as quickly as possible.

Do you suffer from headaches, chronic facial pain, jaw clicking, and/or pain, neck or shoulder pain? Contact us to schedule a TMJ Disorder consultation. You deserve to find relief from your symptoms – and we can help!