Serving patients of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greeneville TN
Are you living with reoccurring headaches? You might think they aren’t “worth” making an appointment with the doctor. Perhaps you think your headaches are caused by stress or allergies. You may have gone to the doctor before about your headaches, and you were told to take some anti-inflammatory medication. Either way, that means you probably keep an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as Tylenol or Advil, nearby at all times. The average bottle of Tylenol costs $5.43 for 24 pills. If you take two at a time, once a day, you are only getting 12 uses out of that bottle. Nearly every other week, you’re spending $5 to mask your pain, instead of getting to the source of the problem. Tusculum Dental Care might be able to give you headache relief that doesn’t involve taking medicine every day or living in pain. Your headaches may be caused by temporomandibular joint disorder, a common and often undiagnosed ailment.
What is TMJ disorder?
Your temporomandibular joints connect your jaw to your skull on either side of your head. These joints control your jaw movements. Like any other joint, your temporomandibular joint is made up of cartilage, tendons, bone, and muscles. Those parts have to work together like clockwork; otherwise, your temporomandibular joint may end up malfunctioning. When this occurs, it is referred to as TMJ disorder.
How Does TMJ Disorder Cause Headaches?
The symptoms of TMJ disorder can be quite different from person to person, but one common thread is pain… although this pain may not be in your jaw. The trigeminal nerve, the most prominent nerve in the head, is located quite close to the temporomandibular joint. If TMJ disorder aggravates this nerve, it can send pain impulses to the brain, triggering headaches. In severe cases, it can lead to neck, shoulder, and even back pain.
Headaches are just one of the problems that can stem from TMJ disorder. People who suffer from TMJ disorder are often notorious for clenching their jaw. TMJ patients can go years without realizing that they may also suffer from bruxism, otherwise known as clenching and grinding your teeth while asleep. Lastly, TMJ disorder can cause anxiety. Any of these issues may also be the potential culprit behind your chronic headaches.
Many people mistakenly attribute their TMJ issues to stress, which can sometimes cause jaw clenching and overworked facial muscles. While stress cannot cause TMJ disorder to develop, stress can exacerbate your symptoms and lead to frequent headaches. If you’ve noticed your jaw popping or clicking when you are under stress, then there’s a possibility you might have TMJ disorder.
TMJ Specialists in Greeneville
TMJ is not going to cure itself. It won’t heal over time. However, there are a variety of treatment options available thanks to the dentists at Tusculum Dental Care. If you’ve been living with chronic headaches with no relief, you should get a screening for TMJ disorder at our Greenville dental office. Dr. Nathaniel Renner and Dr. Craig Shepherd, want to help you by managing your TMJ disorder—and putting an end to your headaches, not just provide temporary treatment. Contact Tusculum Dental Care today at (423) 639-7575 to schedule your consultation if you’re located in Greeneville, Jonesborough, or Erwin, Tennessee.