Most Common Headache: Tension-type
There are different types of headaches, however; the most common is the “tension-type” headache. Caused by muscular contractions, many people who complain of chronic headaches and/or migraines may also have a TMJ disorder.
Tension headaches are caused by over active jaw muscles from clenching and/or grinding of teeth. These headaches and/or migraines can often lead to facial, neck, shoulder and arm pain. In most cases, tension headaches can be treated without the use of medications.
While medications can help reduce headaches for a period of time, the headaches usually return because medications become less effective or higher doses are required. Over use of pain medication can cause rebound headaches. Over time, headaches and/or migraines transform from an episodic condition to a chronic condition. Medications can have various side effects such as sedation, euphoria, constipation, anxiety, insomnia, and dependency. It is important to know that medications only treat the symptoms, they do not treat the cause of the problem.
Tension-type headaches can be treated with a “specialized” orthotic appliance (a completely different design which functions differently than a night guard or splint) which is used to reposition the lower jaw so the jaw muscles are more relaxed and the jaw joints are in the correct position. This appliance limits the amount of force the closing jaw muscles can generate resulting in the reduction or elimination of headaches, migraines, jaw pain, facial pain, TMJ pain, neck and shoulder pain.
There are many nerves, ligaments, and blood vessels in and around the jaw joints. If the jaw joints are not in the correct position, the joints can impinge on these structures causing various pains about the face, head, neck, and shoulders. The jaw joints must be in the correct position.
Dr. Busciglio has treated many patients with chronic headaches and/or migraines and insures the jaw joints are in the proper position through the use of Tomography TMJ x-rays. Most patients have an 80% to 100% reduction of their headaches within 2-4 weeks of appliance therapy and therapeutic treatments.
Symptoms from clenching and/or grinding of the teeth
- Waking up with headaches and/or migraines
- Frequent headaches
- Sore or painful jaw muscles
- TMJ pain (jaw joint pain)
- Jaw joint clicking or popping
- TMJ catching or locking
- Limited ability to open and close your mouth
- Ear pain
- Ringing of the ear
- Ear stuffiness or fullness
If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms you do not need to suffer anymore, call Bay Area TMJ & Sleep Center today to schedule a comprehensive evaluation.