Waking Up With Headaches? It Could Be TMJ

Do you suffer from frequent headaches? Then you know the damage they can cause. What’s worse? Finding out the cause of your headaches and getting relief can be difficult. 

If you wake up with headaches or have unexplained headaches throughout the day, it’s possible the root cause could be two little joints on either side of your head. 

At Dental Professionals of Jersey City our highly-skilled dentists, Paul Lustiger, DDS and Seonha Park, DMD, do more than improve your smile. Our compassionate and caring team are dedicated to helping our patients improve their overall wellbeing — including ridding you of your TMJ headaches.

We know that chronic pain negatively impacts your entire life. That’s why we created this guide to help you learn more about TMJ and how it might be causing your headaches.

What is TMJ?

On both sides of your head, in front of your ears, you have small joints known as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Inside the TMJ, there’s a disc of cartilage that cushions the bones of the joint so it can move smoothly. 

TMJ disorders, most often called “TMJ,” typically cause discomfort and pain in the jaw, including the surrounding muscles and tendons. Possible causes of TMJ include injury, dislocation, arthritis, tooth and jaw alignment, and teeth grinding. 

Symptoms of TMJ include:

If you suspect you might have TMJ, it’s important to talk to one of the TMJ specialists at Dental Professionals of Jersey City. If not treated, TMJ can impact your ability to chew, swallow, speak, control facial muscles, and even breathe.

What is a TMJ headache?

It can be challenging to tell a TMJ headache from any one of the other types of headaches that exist, like tension, migraine, or sinus headaches. One key sign your headaches might be related to TMJ is experiencing other symptoms, typically related to the jaw. 

If you have any of the below symptoms along with your headaches, you may be experiencing TMJ headaches. 

Are there ways to stop TMJ headaches?

There are things you can do to stop the pain of TMJ-related headaches. Depending on your symptoms and the underlying causes, different remedies may produce better results. 

To remedy your headaches, Dr. Lustiger and Dr. Park must treat the underlying TMJ disorder. This includes pinpointing the cause of your TMJ. The team at Dental Professionals of Jersey City will then work with you to create a customized treatment plan to end your TMJ and TMJ-related headaches. 

We begin with conservative treatments to help you avoid more invasive procedures. For the majority of our patients, these forms of treatment are all that’s required to help end TMJ.

These conservative treatments include:

In addition, our team tries to help you understand behaviors that make your pain and TMJ worse, like nail-biting, teeth grinding, and leaning on your chin. We’ll work with you to modify these behaviors so that you can experience less pain.

If there’s an underlying structural issue causing your TMJ, we may recommend different injections or surgery to further your recovery. These options include but are not limited to:

Don’t ignore TMJ headaches!

In addition to dealing with headaches, TMJ can lead to extra dental work and other health problems.

At Dental Professionals of Jersey City, Dr. Lustiger and Dr. Park are dedicated to your overall health and oral wellbeing. If you’re experiencing chronic headaches and jaw pain, don’t wait to seek help. Visit us online to schedule an appointment today. 

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