Many people wake up with a sore jaw muscles or a headache. They may visit their doctor or take over-the-counter pain relievers for solutions. What they don’t realize is that these headaches are usually dental health problems.
Frequent headaches are typically linked to Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders. The discomfort in the jaw joint, and the grinding that sometimes causes TMJ Disorders, puts pressure on the face and causes headaches.
Are Your Headaches Caused by TMJ Dysfunction?
There are certain tell-tale signs that your headaches are being caused by a TMJ Disorder. They are usually coupled with other symptoms, including:
- Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew, speak, or open your mouth wide
- Limited ability to open the mouth very wide
- Jaws that get “stuck” or “lock” in the open- or closed-mouth position
- Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth (which may or may not be accompanied by pain) or chewing
- A tired feeling in the face
- Difficulty chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite – as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly
- Swelling on the side of the face
Treatment for Frequent Headaches
To treat headaches caused by dental concerns, Dr. McCool seeks to find the source of the headache. Whether caused by TMJ or teeth grinding, by locating its source, Dr. McCool can recommend the best and easiest treatment option. If the headaches are caused by teeth grinding, Dr. McCool will recommend a NTI-tss dental device.
NTI-tss Dental Device
A NTI-tss is a small night-guard that fits comfortably between your teeth, preventing the teeth from coming into contact with one another and grinding. The NTI-tss device is FDA approved and reduces clenching and grinding by up to 66 percent.
They differ from traditional night guards because night guard devices provide a surface for you to “bite down on.” New studies show, however, that these devices can actually increase the intensity of your clenching reflex. The NTI-tss device suppresses the clenching reflex by preventing the teeth from contacting each other. There is no surface to bite down on or bite into.