Most everyone has a headache from time to time. In fact, notorious migraines are considered the No. 7 most debilitating condition worldwide by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which produces the Global Burden of Disease study. So, why is a family dentist talking about headaches? Surprisingly enough, your jaw may be to blame for that chronic, aching, tension-type headache. Specifically, you may have a “TMJ headache.” And TMD treatment options in Rochester, MI, are available at your trusted dentist’s office — John L. Aurelia, DDS, PLLC.
TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint on each side of your head that connects the jaw to the skull. TMJ acts like a hinge, which allows your jaw to function seamlessly for efficient and pain-free chewing and speaking. Since this joint depends on many other interconnected components — including cartilage, muscle, and bone — there are many opportunities for this system to “go wrong.” By that, just one component can affect the smooth function of this hinge; for instance, arthritis can erode the cartilage that covers those bones which interact with the TMJ. The resulting TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction) produces not only jaw stiffness, but also aching pain throughout the face – including in and around your ears, jaw, and head. TMJ headaches often present themselves like tension headaches, which are often described as feeling like a tight band around a patient’s forehead.
If Drs John Aurelia and Dina Khoury suspect that TMD is responsible for your headaches and other symptoms, they may recommend the design of a dental appliance that is customized to your specifications. When worn as directed, this oral appliance realigns your jaw, achieving the balance and harmony that restores proper function and relieves pain and other TMJ-related problems. In addition, bruxism (teeth grinding) is associated with TMD. So, oral appliance therapy protects natural teeth and restorations from the damage that is caused by bruxing, either subconsciously or at night, when the patient is at rest.
We get to know our patients. Depending on what we know about you or your loved one, we may also recommend other approaches, singularly or in addition to oral appliance therapy. Even seemingly simple changes, such as refraining from sticky or chewy foods and gum, or exercises and massage to strengthen and ease achy muscles, has made a big difference in patients’ lives.
Call [phone2] to schedule your appointment at John L. Aurelia, DDS, PLLC, in Rochester, MI.