What is TMJ Disorder?

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. This joint allows you to move your jaw up and down, side to side, and back and forth, so you can talk, eat, and drink.

Why Do I Get Consistent Headaches?

Imagine that you had a door that didn’t quite close smoothly. Imagine that you had to lift it or push it to make it shut. Imagine what the effect might be on the hinges over time.

Now think about your teeth and the way they come together. Your body has the ability to shift your jaws to make your teeth mesh as evenly as possible.

What causes your jaws to shift? Your muscles. What happens when your muscles are overworked? They get tired and sore. What do you do to relieve them? You can give them a rest from the activity that stressed them. You might take some medication like Advil or Aspirin. You might get a massage.

If you held your arms out to your sides for just a moment, no problem. What if you had to hold your hands out to your sides for hours at a time? You’d have painful muscles, and your body would contort to support them as long as possible, putting a strain on your back and legs as well. Now think about your jaw and the muscles that control it. You swallow between two and 3,000 times a day. You speak. You chew. Maybe you chew gum. Maybe you grind or clench your teeth. Now those muscles don’t get a chance to rest. The result — a headache. So you take some medication and you go on your way. And the next day it’s back.

If this sounds like you, or someone you know, having the bite analyzed is the first step in correcting the underlying issue of gears that aren’t meshing properly. It might be as simple as adjusting the existing bite to eliminate the interferences. If the problem is related to grinding your teeth at night, wearing an appliance (night guard) may reduce muscle fatigue. If the teeth have been severely worn, it might be necessary to reconstruct the lost structure with crowns. At Boulder Smiles, we take a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating headaches. We will work with you to find the source of your headaches and develop a dental treatment plan that will provide relief.

Are You Ready to Find the Relief You Deserve?

A consultation with Dr. Birnbach or Dr. Russ will determine the best approach for you. Contact Boulder Smiles to learn more about our headache treatment options in Boulder, CO!

Call Us: 303-443-4417 | Schedule an Appointment