TMJ and TMD treatment and Headaches

Research tells us there are over 100 different causes for headaches but approximately 70% are caused by clenching or grinding of the teeth. This problem is so common we see two or three patients every day with it. These patients are almost always females under the age of 55. A high percentage of these patients come in saying they have “migraine” headaches. While there is a true condition of “migraine” headache, our experience has been that almost all of these patients are clenching or grinding their teeth. Furthermore, the pain is usually attenuated or stopped (without pills) when an orthotic or special appliance (NTI) is placed between the front teeth. Sometimes a patient can get relief from even a store bought night guard. You have probably heard the initials TMJ or TMD. These stand for temporal mandibular joint or temporal mandibular dysfunction. Your temples are the bone by your ear; your mandible is your lower jaw bone and your joint is in front of your ear. You can easily feel it when you open and close your mouth. Pain in this joint can be anything from a “click” to very severe  pain where the jaw cannot open very far. The cause of TMJ/TMD problems implicates stress, a malocclusion (teeth don’t come together correctly), missing teeth, bruxism (night grinding) and a host of other possibilities.

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John E. Regan, DDS, MAGD

650 Cherry Street Huntington, IN 46750