• May 26, 2018

You want to spend time with your family, but your headaches — they just too much.

So, you retreat to a dark room, and you wish that your family would keep the noise down. Every little thing — light, sound — seems unbearable.

You’ve tried headache medication, but that has had little or no effect.

You want help. You want relief from the pain.

You might want to call Shorewood Family Dental Care at 815-768-1615.

Headaches, including migraines, can have a variety of causes. If you’ve tried everything you could think of to end your pain, it’s possible your headaches could be a symptom of TMD, or a temporomandibular joint disorder.

Our dentists in Shorewood, IL could help you address the cause of your TMD so you can get back to enjoying your life again.

Signs of a TMD

Dehydration, illnesses, infections, and stress (physical or emotional) are a just a few reasons someone could develop a headache. With so many possible causes, how can you know if your headache could be a symptom of a TMD?

People who have a TMD often (but not always) have multiple symptoms. In addition to your headaches, ask yourself if you also noticed any of these signs:

  • Jaw pain in the morning
  • Face, head, or neck pain
  • Jaw soreness while eating or after meals
  • Clicking or popping sounds when opening or closing your mouth
  • Feeling like you can’t open or close your mouth completely
  • Stiffness in your jaw

TMD itself can be the result of a one or more factors, including injuries, illnesses, or bite alignment issues. One of the most common causes, however, is teeth grinding.

Believe it or not, millions of people grind their teeth without realizing it. It is often a subconscious reaction to stress. Many people do this while they are sleeping, which could help explain why someone you may be dealing with symptoms more often in the morning.

Treating Your TMD Could Treat Your Headaches

If we could get rid of the stress in your life, we would, but that’s not something we can control.

We can encourage you to try some home remedies for dealing with your headaches.

If you are suffering from jaw soreness, an ice pack can help numb the pain. If you are experiencing jaw stiffness, moist heat can help to loosen your jaw. You might want to try eating soft foods that are easy to chew for a few days if you have jaw pain after meals.

If your symptoms return after you end your relief efforts or persist in spite of them, then it would be a good idea to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists.

We can check your teeth for the signs of wear and tear from regular teeth grinding. You should know that teeth grinding can increase your risk for other oral health issues, including cavities and gum infections, as well.

The pressure from grinding can chip or crack the enamel of your teeth, leaving them more vulnerable to bacteria. The pressure also can damage your gum tissue, making it more likely to become infected.

Taking Care of Your TMD

If we determine that you are grinding your teeth in your sleep, we can help. Wearing a small oral appliance at night can prevent you from grinding your teeth together.

These appliances are custom-made for each patient, and after a brief adjustment period, most patients find them comfortable to wear while they sleep. The appliance acts as a barrier, preventing your upper and lower teeth from touching one another.

The appliance also helps your jaw remain in a more relaxed position when you are asleep. This also reduces your likelihood of headaches and other TMD-related problems when you wake up.

Stop the Pain & Start Enjoying Your Life

We can’t help every problem, but we may be able to help end the headaches that are preventing you from spending time with your family and friends. If you are tired of pounding, throbbing headaches caused by TMD, then we would be happy to help.

Call Shorewood Family Dental Care at 815-768-1615 or contact us online today to request an appointment. You deserve to live with less pain.