TMJ & Headache Treatment

Our dentist and team understand that TMJ disorders and chronic headaches can be frustrating and debilitating in your day-to-day life. We offer treatments to help manage these conditions so you can enjoy a healthier and more comfortable quality of life. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Keith Warr and learn more about TMJ and headache treatment in Millcreek, Utah, call Warr Dental at 801-355-5385.

What is a TMJ Disorder

Facial pain affects the lives of a significant percentage of adults in the U.S. TMJ disorders are one of the causes of this pain and discomfort. TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders, or TMD, are often misunderstood and diagnosed, and in many cases, patients with this condition may not realize they have it.

TMJ disorders are conditions affecting your temporomandibular joints, or jaw joints. These joints are located on either side of your jaw and are among the most complex joints in your body, involving the muscles, ligaments and bones that make chewing and speaking possible. When your teeth, muscles and TMJ are no longer functioning in harmony together, it results in pain, discomfort, and in some cases, a loss of proper oral function. If you have a TMJ disorder, it may impact your ability to eat, yawn, speak or open your mouth widely.

Causes of TMJ Disorders

TMJ disorders may be caused by a number of factors, ranging from lifestyle factors to separate medical conditions. Some possible causes of TMJ disorders include:

  • Teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism)
  • Gnashing your teeth
  • Tightened facial muscles (often a result of stress)
  • Displaced discs, which cause jaw misalignment
  • Jaw dislocation
  • Degenerative joint diseases, including arthritis
  • Stress or injury to the jaw joint

Symptoms of TMj Disorders

  • Limited jaw movement, including a locked or stuck jaw
  • Pain when chewing or biting, and difficulty chewing and swallowing
  • Pain in the neck, shoulders or ears
  • Grinding, clicking or popping sounds when you open and close your mouth
  • An inability to open your mouth wide
  • Ear congestion
  • Snoring
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Back and neck pain
  • Unexplained loose teeth
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Facial pain
  • Sensitive and sore teeth
  • Chronic jaw pain
  • Numbness or tingling in the fingers and arms
  • Worn or cracked teeth
  • Sleep problems
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Tinnitus, or ringing ears

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, we recommend making an appointment with Dr. Warr for an evaluation, especially if you have not already found a long-term solution for your discomfort.

Diagnosing TMJ Disorders

Our experienced dentist will work with you to determine the cause of your discomfort and create a treatment plan to meet your needs. Dr. Warr will perform a thorough evaluation of your jaw and facial area to identify whether or not your symptoms are caused by a TMJ disorder or another condition.

Diagnosing your TMJ disorder will include:

  • A detailed review of your medical history, including your medical conditions, surgical procedures, sicknesses, health concerns and your family health history.
  • A review of your symptoms.
  • A jaw examination to check for popping, clicking, discomfort or sensitivity in your jaw joint .
  • A bite evaluation to check for misalignment.
  • Scanning of your jaws, teeth and gums using our advanced T-Scan™ technology.

After performing a thorough examination, our dentist will be able to determine if you have a TMJ disorder and create an individualized treatment plan to manage the disorder and improve your quality of life.

TMJ Treatments

One of the most common treatments for both headaches and TMJ disorders is a specialized mouth guard. Also known as a bite guard or night guard, this oral appliance is custom made to fit your teeth and mouth perfectly, fitting comfortably over your teeth to be worn at night while you sleep. This prevents clenching and grinding actions and may also help hold your jaw in the proper position to relieve excess strain.

Other treatments may also be recommended depending on the cause and severity of your TMJ disorder, such as jaw and facial relaxation exercises, pain management strategies, lifestyle changes, orthodontic intervention, full-mouth restoration or restorative dental treatments, or jaw surgery.

Dr. Warr will consider your oral health and function as well as the severity of your TMJ disorder and other factors to determine which type or combination of treatments will be most beneficial for you.

TMJ Disorders, Headaches & Migraines

Another common sign of TMJ disorders is frequent headaches, including tension headaches and migraines. However, TMJ disorders are not the only cause of chronic headaches and migraines. These headaches may also be caused by the stress and strain of grinding and clenching your teeth. Dr. Warr will work with you to determine if TMJ treatment is the solution for your headaches and, if so, create a treatment plan that meets your needs.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Warr, please contact our office at 801-355-5385 and speak with a member of our team.