Headaches and TMJ Dysfunction

Mar 13th, 2012 | By | Category: General Dentistry, More dental news

TMJYou wake up every morning with a throbbing headache. Your jaw aches. Your neck hurts. Before you go running to your physician for treatment of your chronic aches and pains, you might want to give your dentist a call. Some headaches are caused by a dysfunction of the jaw joints, and Dr. Moiceanu offers effective treatments to alleviate the pain of this common condition. Here’s what you need to know about TMJ dysfunction.

What is TMJ dysfunction?

Also called craniomandibular dysfunction, TMJ dysfunction is characterized by pain and inflammation in the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) located on either side of the face in front of the ears. The TMJ connects the lower jaw to the skull and is responsible for proper jaw movement. When these joints are imbalanced and not functioning properly, many painful symptoms emerge because of the added strain placed on surrounding muscles and nerves.

What are the signs and symptoms of TMJ dysfunction?

You may have TMJ dysfunction if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty biting or chewing
  • Headache
  • Earache
  • Pain or tenderness in the jaw
  • Clicking or popping of the jaw
  • Pain in the neck or shoulders

What causes TMJ dysfunction?

  • Teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism)
  • Crooked teeth or misaligned bite (malocclusion)
  • Stress
  • Arthritis or other degenerative joint diseases
  • Bad chewing habits such as fingernail biting or pen chewing
  • Trauma to the jaw

How is TMJ dysfunction treated?

Dr. Moiceanu can fit you with a mouthguard to wear at night that will hold your jaw in the proper position and prevent teeth grinding. He will also perform any restorative dental work to repair damage caused by teeth grinding. If your TMJ is caused by stress or bad chewing habits, Dr. Moiceanu will advise you on lifestyle changes that can help relieve jaw strain. If your TMJ dysfunction is due to a malocclusion, he may recommend orthodontic treatment to realign your bite.

If you wake up with headaches every morning, call Dr. Moiceanu today at (510) 758-7222 to schedule a consultation for TMJ treatment. Hilltop Family Dental happily treats patients from Richmond, San Pablo, El Sobrante, Vallejo, Pinole, El Cerrito, Hercules, Benicia, and the greater Contra Costa County area.

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