Do you experience migraines, headaches or pain in your jaw, neck or shoulders? It could be time to see a dentist. 

Why? Well, believe it or not, your teeth could be affecting your day to day health, especially if you have headaches consistently that you can’t figure out where they are coming from. 

If you have tried everything, and nothing seems to be working, talk to Dr. Lowrance and his expert team today to see how you can get the help you need.

A Man at home having a headache in front of laptop. Did you know that everything in your body is connected? So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that if you are having headaches, your teeth may be involved.

How Does My Headache Come From My Teeth?

Everything in your body is connected.  So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that if you are having headaches, your teeth may be involved. Why might your teeth be involved? TMD. TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder, happens for a variety of reasons, the main one being complications from the TMJ, or temporomandibular joint. TMD can also come from issues with the jaw muscles and nerves on one or both sides of the head. 

Fortunately with Dr. Lowrance and his experienced team at the Corpus Christi Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, you can get the relief you need. As a highly skilled TMJ and Las Vegas Institute neuromuscular trained dentist, Dr. Lowrance will assess your jaw function and provide customized TMJ treatment plan to not only restore your mouth to a healthy state, but also alleviate any discomfort caused by TMD.

How Do I Know If I Have TMD?

The following are a few symptoms of an issue with your TMJ and if you find yourself with any or all of these symptoms, contact a dental professional right away. 

  • Clicking or popping sounds when you open or close your mouth
  • Ear pain when using your jaw
  • Frequent tension headaches
  • Jaws that get stuck or ‘lock’ when trying to open or close your mouth
  • Limited range of jaw motion (i.e. can’t open your mouth very far)
  • Misaligned, worn or chipped teeth
  • Pain, swelling or tenderness in the face, jaw, neck and shoulders
  • Vertigo

Unfortunately, misdiagnosis is common. Patients often wander between physicians and specialists depending on the location of the symptoms without finding relief.  

How Do I Fix My TMJ?

Unfortunately,  no TMJ is ever completely fixed.  It is a chronic problem that is treatment to the patients optimal outcome but never just treated like a fever and it is over.  It is generally a life-long chronic problem. That being said, there are options to help relieve the symptoms. 

There are several options available to you if you have TMD or issues in your TMJ. The best way to find the one that works best for you is by talking to your Corpus Christi dentist, Dr. Lowrance.

 He will recommend one of the following solutions for your dental issues:

  1. Coronoplasty (occlusal equilibration) to remove obstructions or interferences that cause a misaligned or ‘bad’ bite;
  2. Construction of a neuromuscular orthotic to align the lower jaw and put it back where it belongs;
  3. Neuromuscular therapy and treatment;
  4. Chiropractic therapy;
  5. Lastly and most rarely, surgery when irreversible damage has occurred in the TMJ. This should only be done with the aid of a Tek-Scan® and a neuromuscular trained dentist.

Warning:  Don’t Let Just any Dentist Tinker with Your Bite

Some patients who think they have TMJ/TMD may have had another dentist adjust their bite and/or place them in an orthotic (dental splint) then collect a hefty fee for their services. Unfortunately, in a lot of cases, the problem isn’t solved and the symptoms haven’t been corrected. It takes patience and detective work to sluth out the underlying causes and how to truly solve the problem.

What do I need to get treated properly?

Treating TMJ/TMD symptoms requires a lot of record collecting. Records needed or included in your journey may include your:

  • Personal medical history, with emphasis on previous symptoms
  • Current and past prescriptions
  • Any supplements you may be/have been on
  • Personal nutrition and dietary habits
  • Sleep apnea test and history

Some things that a dental expert may need to request or examine themselves:

  • 3 dimensional x-rays of the TMJ’s
  • Physical examination of the head and neck

Items absolutely necessary to treat TMD:

  1. CBT of the jaw joints
  2. Tek-Scan for bite balancing
  3. A neuromuscular position for the jaw determined by a reliable method.

Occasionally, your TMJ/TMD may need more than just a dentist to help discover the problem. Sometimes a multidisciplinary approach is needed. This can include a pain physician, chiropractor, a chiropractor specialist like Atlas-Orthogonist or SOTO.  Chronic inflammatory diseases must be ruled out in order to find the correct diagnosis. It is a process that must be meticulous to be successful.

Contact a Corpus Christi Dentist Today

To learn more about TMJ in Corpus Christi, please contact the Corpus Christi Center for Cosmetic Dentistry today at (361) 851-8274.