Dothan, AL dentists talk about TMJ disorder and headaches
Posted By Dr Nathan Pfister
In medicine, a joint is any area where two bones come together to permit body parts to move. The human body has 360 joints. Temporomandibular joints may be the two most important – without them, you’d starve to death. While these complex joints are vital to survival, a TMJ disorder (TMD) can trigger a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. Dothan, AL dentists, Dr. Nathan and Dr. Brian Pfister, take TMD very seriously.
How can TMJ disorder cause headaches?
In dental terms, bite is how your teeth meet when your mouth closes. Malocclusion occurs when the bite is not in proper alignment. Malocclusion shifts bite force (which can exceed 200 pounds) to improper points, straining TMJs. Resulting pain radiates upward from the jaw to muscles and bones in the face. TMJ headaches are often felt in the temples, from dull discomfort to sharp and throbbing.
Fifth cranial nerves, called trigeminal nerves, aid in motor function of the mouth and allow facial sensations. These nerves have three primary branches directly connected to the brainstem:
Ophthalmic nerve – related to eyes.
Maxillary nerve – upper jaw.
Mandibular nerve – lower jaw.
Because trigeminal nerves reside in close proximity and are essential to jaw function, malocclusion impacts them. Untreated TMD can lead to chronic trigeminal neuralgia, or intermittent nerve pain. Regardless, irritation of trigeminal nerves is a factor in recurring headaches.
Tension or TMJ headaches?
Your headaches are likely TMD-related if:
Pain is at ears or temples (tension headaches are usually felt at the neck, back of the head, and forehead).
Neck, shoulders, and back are stiff.
Dizziness accompanies headaches.
You hear unusual noises when jaws move.
You feel an odd sensation in lips, gums, cheeks, or teeth.
TMJ-headaches don’t respond to treatment for tension headaches. Accurate diagnosis of TMJ disorder is key to finding relief. It starts with an open-minded practitioner who takes a holistic approach, considering the intimate connection of the mouth and body. Then, with modern diagnostic tools, he defines the problem and develops a personalized treatment plan.
Call Biodentist Alabama in Dothan, AL (855) 939-5566 to learn more about holistic treatment for TMJ disorder.
Dr. Pfister's passion for non-invasive biologic dentistry began while practicing dentistry in Hawaii and he learned of the power of ozone in dentistry. From Hawaii, Dr. Pfister moved to his hometown of Upland as the protégé of the world-renowned ozone dentist Dr. Bill Domb...
Dr. Brian Pfister was born and raised in Upland, CA. He attended Brigham Young University-Idaho, graduating with a degree in exercise physiology with a minor in chemistry. From Idaho, Dr. Brian returned to southern California to continue dental training at Western University College of Dental Medicine.