Headaches and TMD/TMJ
Serving Northern Virginia including Oakton, Fairfax, Reston, Alexandria, Arlington and Washington D.C.
Headaches are the one of the most common and problematic symptoms of TMD/TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder). It is normally a tension type of headache that accompanies temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). A tension headache is sometimes described as what it feels like to wear a hat that is two or three sizes too small. When the temporomandibular joint is malfunctioning, it can lead to these terrible tension headaches that a neuromuscular dentist, not a doctor, like Dr. Michael Chung at Softouch Dental Care, can diagnose and treat.
Why does TMD/TMJ cause these headaches?
There are a few reasons that TMJ disorders cause these headaches. When your muscles are constantly contracting due to a misaligned jaw joint, the muscle fibers grow and create tension or pressure in the face, neck, jaw and shoulders. The tension restricts the blood flow to the region. The body, in turn, sends more blood, and this increases blood pressure in the head and can cause these tension headaches. Also, when you grind your teeth, which is a symptom of TMD, the muscles are made tense and get worn out, which can lead to headaches.
Often, these headaches are so intense and frequent that they are misdiagnosed as migraines. Pain medication may relieve pain temporarily, but it will never get to the source of the problem. A neuromuscular dentist, like Dr. Michael Chung, can start to fix your problems by putting the temporomandibular joint back into its proper alignment and the muscles around your jaw will be more relaxed and feel better.
The pain from these headaches can be blocked with medication, or physical therapy along with psychological therapy to relax and retrain the muscles, but the source of the problem caused by the bad bite that led to the bad joints will remain. The only real way to fix the problem is to go to a neuromuscular dentist and have your jaw and its joints realigned and put in their optimal position. This will lead to less stress in your jaw, and less stress in your life.
If you think you may be suffering from a TMD/TMJ related tension headache and you live in the Northern Virginia area, you can contact Dr. Chung and his staff at Softouch Dental Care, where they can determine your best course of action.