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Causes of TMD/TMJ Associated Headaches in Bernardsville

Bernardsville Dentist Serving Morristown, Basking Ridge, Mendham, Chester, and Far Hills, NJ

Headaches seem to be the universal symptom for just about anything. While many headaches have a medical reason for occurring, they can also be caused by a dental issue.

Very severe, migraine-like headaches can be a symptom of temporomandibular joint dysfunction, commonly called TMD, or simply TMJ after the joint itself. If you suffer from headaches but have failed to recover after treatments recommended by other healthcare professionals, it may be time to see your dentist. Dr. Patti at Aesthetic Dentistry of Bernardsville in New Jersey is skilled at treating TMJ/TMD and the painful headaches associated with a misaligned bite (malocclusion).

Knowing the causes of TMD can help understand how this dysfunction can cause headaches. A brief summary of the causes of TMD include:

Bruxism

Stress – it’s what we think of first as the cause of clenching or grinding our teeth (medically known as bruxism). Bruxism is a serious condition that can cause TMD and also can loosen, crack, or break teeth and cause other problems that require professional treatment.

An abnormal bite, missing teeth, misshapen teeth, or crooked teeth can also cause bruxism. This pressure can inflame the temporomandibular joint and nerves, resulting in headaches that radiate from the jaw to any part of the head or neck.

Injury

Injuries, such as a jaw dislocation, are bound to cause localized pain. Left untreated, injuries can develop into TMD over time. Add to it inflammation, swelling, and irritation radiating to nearby areas and you get headaches that are indirectly caused by TMD.

Other Types of Disease

Even arthritis can be a cause of TMD, and in turn, of associated headaches. Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, can occur secondary to a lax jaw during sleep, effectively becoming a misaligned bite. Additionally, lack of sleep can cause headaches. Sleep apnea can be treated with bite blocks to hold the jaw forward during sleep. This treatment is similar to treatment for a misaligned bite.

Jaw Pain

TMD symptoms can include clicking, popping, and even locking of the jaw, which in turn can cause muscle spasm and local and radiated pain. That pain can manifest as a headache or even neck and shoulder pain.

Diagnosis

Headaches can be so elusive that doctors have difficulty finding their exact cause. At Aesthetic Dentistry of Bernardsville, we have several diagnostic procedures that will determine whether muscle tension or jaw sounds are present and to what degree. We can determine your ideal jaw position and whether your jaw is misaligned.

Treatments for TMD

Neuromuscular dentistry goes beyond traditional dentistry to treat problems of jawbone alignment, muscles, nerves, and tissues. There are several neuromuscular approaches to treating TMD.

  • TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Neuromuscular Stimulation) sends an electrical impulse to the jaw muscles that allows them to relax.
  • Orthodontics and dental restorations reshape your teeth and offer other alternatives for treating a misaligned jaw.
  • Other advanced technology used at Aesthetic Dentistry of Bernardsville includes the K7 evaluation system, which tracks jaw movement and helps Dr. Patti determine the ideal resting position for your bite.

If you are suffering from headaches and would like to know if TMD treatment would relieve your pain, please contact TMJ dentist Dr. Patti Swaintek-Lamb at Aesthetic Dentistry of Bernardsville by completing our online form or calling (908) 888-9858 to arrange a personalized evaluation. We welcome TMJ sufferers from Bernardsville, Morristown, Basking Ridge, Mendham, Chester, Far Hills, and surrounding areas in New Jersey.

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See what patients like you have to say about our practice

I have been going to Dr. Patti since I was young and she is incredible. I still travel in from NYC to visit her and the team every six months. I cant speak more highly of the team’s talent as well as the comfort I feel in their office. Would recommend their practice to anyone and everyone.
Brooke Macy
Brooke Macy
23:10 01 Jun 22
Exceptional Dentist, amazing staff!!
Cardspunk M
Cardspunk M
23:27 25 May 22
I cannot speak highly enough of my experience at Aesthetic Dentistry of Bernardsville and Patti Swaintek-Lamb, DMD along with her tremendous staff. I have been to dozens of dentists over the years and hands down this has been my best experience and I loved my last dentist before I moved away. They are a wonderful combination of professional and caring. Great kindness and respect is shown to their patients. It is very welcoming environment. For those who dread the dental visit I recommend this office that works to create a calming and supportive atmosphere. The dental work/care was excellent from beginning to end and I look forward to my next visit.
Lynda Spencer
Lynda Spencer
22:31 21 Apr 22
I immediately get comfortable. Change is not always easy but the transition to Dr. Patti’s office was seamless, it’s as if they knew me already. The skill and knowledge of all is evident throughout the practice, as well as pride for their profession. I look forward to staying on as a patient for a long time! Thank you
Christina Klausner
Christina Klausner
10:52 30 Mar 22
Dr. Patti Swaintek-Lamb is an excellent dentist, professional and always listens to what is important to YOU. She has the time, expertise and personal touch while caring deeply about your desires and comfort. My husband, myself and 3 children have been using Dr. Patti for over 15 years and recommend her in the highest regard.
Dana Macy
Dana Macy
15:10 24 Mar 22
Dr Patti and her staff create a caring, professional atmosphere. They take adequate time to make repairs needed and fill cavities as painlessly as possible. Nancy Lee McLure
Frank Siwiec
Frank Siwiec
14:08 24 Mar 22
My two sons, 8 and 10, are both receiving orthodontic treatment from Dr. Patti and I’ve been so happy with their progress. She is very thoughtful and thorough with her plans to give them both a healthier smile.
Francesca Calogero
Francesca Calogero
15:33 16 Mar 22
Dr. Patty what can I say..I will not go to another dentist EVER. Dr. Patty and the staff get 10 BIG stars for the never ending patience they had with me over the years. Thankyou 🙂
Marilyn Zakaluzny
Marilyn Zakaluzny
13:14 23 Feb 22
Dr. Patti and her incredible staff perfectly mix professionalism and brilliance with an ability to make patients feel right at home. I have been a patient for almost 10 years and I couldn't imagine going anywhere else. From teeth cleanings to more invasive procedures, Dr. Patti's team is unmatched. Lately I have been treating for my sleep apnea. I can say without exaggeration that the device Dr. Patti prescribed and developed for me changed my life. I went from fitful nights of frequently-interrupted sleep all while snoring like a jackal, to sleeping through the night without making a sound. My wife may be happier at this development than I am. In short, whatever your dental/sleep needs, look no further than Aesthetic Dentistry.
Anthony Martine
Anthony Martine
16:47 04 Feb 22
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