TMJ And Headaches Provider

Dental Center of Tysons Corner

Aesthetic and Reconstructive Dentistry located in McLean, VA

Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) cause jaw pain and headaches, but they aren’t the only culprits. A dental problem or misaligned teeth may also cause similar symptoms. The doctors at the Dental Center of Tysons Corner has the expertise to get to the bottom of the complex association between TMJ and dental issues by providing physiologic-based dentistry. If you have jaw pain and headaches, wait no longer to get the precise diagnosis and treatment you need. Call their office in McLean, Virginia, or book an appointment online.

TMJ and Headaches Q & A

Dental Center of Tysons Corner

What is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joints are located on each side of your face, where your lower jaw connects with your skull. TMJ is categorized as three general problems that often occur in the joint:

  • Myofascial pain: Pain in the muscles controlling your jaw
  • Internal derangement of the joint: May involve a displaced disc, dislocated jaw, or injury
  • Arthritis: Degenerative and inflammatory disorder

What causes TMJ?

TMJ often develops when the:

  • Jaw is out of alignment
  • Disc between bones is displaced
  • Cartilage is damaged by arthritis
  • Joint is damaged by trauma or injury
  • Jaw pressure increases due to teeth grinding

What are the symptoms of TMJ?

When you have TMJ, you may experience:

  • Painless clicking or popping when you open your mouth
  • Pain or tenderness in your jaw or temporomandibular joint
  • Pain in facial muscles and jaw joints radiating to the neck or shoulder
  • Pain when chewing
  • Aching around and in your ear
  • Locked jaw

How is TMJ associated with headaches?

Your head, neck and face share the same nervous system and their muscles are closely connected, so dysfunction in one affects the others. Clenching your teeth, for example, also tenses your neck muscles. Dental problems can cause a headache, facial pain, and TMJ damage.

Any problem with TMJ can impact your head, neck, and face. TMJ often causes headaches, and when they’re severe, they may be accompanied by dizziness, nausea or vomiting.

What is physiologic-based dentistry?

Considering the close interrelationship between your head, neck, and face, it takes expertise to get to the bottom of TMJ. You’ve come to the right place, because the doctors deal with TMJ  extensively through his physiologic-based dentistry.

Physiologic-based dentistry accurately diagnoses TMJ using digital X-rays of your teeth and jaw joints, casts of your teeth, and neuromuscular testing. Some of the specialized screens or tests include:

  • Computerized mandibular scan: Tracks the motion of your jaw and its position while at rest
  • Electromyography: Measures electrical activity in the jaw muscle and detects muscle tension
  • Sonography: Records the sounds made in your jaw while it moves, which are signs of dental misalignment

Based on the results of these tests, the doctors can determine the precise cause of your problem and design a treatment plan to correct the abnormalities. Treatment often includes a customized oral appliance and dental restorations.

The doctors may also treat your TMJ with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), which relaxes the muscles, stops spasms, and relieves pain.