TMD and Headaches
Encinitas, Carlsbad, and San Diego
TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder, causes a wide range of symptoms, including many that do not seem to be related to the face or jaw at all. One common symptom of TMD is persistent headaches. If you suffer from persistent headaches and have been unable to find other causes, your headaches may be related to TMD. San Diego, California area neuromuscular dentist Dr. Mary Walsh-Cole can help provide a diagnosis and treatment for TMD related headaches.
How TMD Causes Headaches
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint where the lower jaw meets the temporal bone of the skull. This joint can become misaligned due to crooked teeth, problems with the alignment of your bite, or tight muscles in the jaw due to stress. Several major nerves pass through this area, and the tension that results from a misaligned TMJ can compress these nerves, leading to painful, persistent headaches.
Other symptoms of TMD can include:
- Jaw pain
- Clicking in the jaw joint
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Pain in the upper back
- Numbness in the hands
This wide variety of symptoms shows in part why TMD can be so difficult to diagnose. If you have any of these symptoms and suspect TMD might be the cause, a neuromuscular dentist like Dr. Walsh-Cole will be best able to diagnose and treat your problem.
Treatments for TMD vary widely depending on what is causing your misalignment. Dr. Walsh-Cole will evaluate your bite and the position of the TMJ to determine the best way to treat your condition. She will determine the proper alignment of your jaw, then recommend a combination of procedures to correct your bite and thus ensure proper TMJ alignment.
Typical treatments used for TMD include:
Often a successful TMD treatment consists of a combination of these procedures in order to address the full range of issues causing your discomfort, including TMD related headaches.
For more information about TMD and headaches, or to schedule a consultation, please contact the San Diego, Encinitas and Carlsbad, California neuromuscular dentistry offices of Mary Walsh-Cole, DMD.