One in 10 Americans is affected by chronic headaches. The American Academy of Craniofacial Pain attributes approximately 80% of headaches to muscle tension. In some cases, this tension can be the result of a temporomandibular disorder (TMD) or occlusal disease, commonly referred to as TMJ. If you experience frequent headaches, be sure to mention them at your next visit to Charlotte dentist Dr. Van Gurp. Our office is experienced with the diagnosis and management of headaches caused by dental related problems.
How Headaches Relate To Dental Health
One of the more common symptoms that patients with a TMJ or bite related disorder share are frequent headaches. These “TMJ headaches” often occur in the morning as a result of jaw clenching and teeth grinding during sleep. Other signs that could indicate TMJ headaches are:
- Pain in the temporal region
- Neck pain
- Migraine, or migraine like headaches
- Frequent earaches without infection
- Tired jaws, achy jaws
TMJ Headache Therapy
If you suspect that your headaches are caused by TMJ, teeth grinding or other dental problems, the first step is an evaluation with a trained and expereinced dentist. Dr. Van Gurp has over 25 years of experience and advanced training with leading dentists in the diagnosis and treatment of malocclusion and bite disorders. He will review your dental and medical history, examine the fit of your bite and alignment of the TMJ.
Depending on the dentist’s findings, one or several treatments may be recommended. Treatment may include an oral appliance, such as a TMJ mouthguard, and/or bite correction therapy which would solve problems with the alignment of teeth and TMJ joints.
- TMJ Mouthguard – A custom removable appliance that is worn during sleep. The purpose of this treatment is to reduce or prevent teeth grinding and clenching and therefore reduce the occurrence of morning headaches.
- Bite Correction – Headaches, especially temporal headaches, often result from malocclusion, or an unbalanced bite. Dr. Van Gurp can solve this issue through a series of adjustments, bringing the teeth into proper alignment. This type of treatment may also include reshaping the teeth, orthodontics, and restorative dentistry (crowns, bridges or implants) depending on your condition.
Explore Topics Related To Headaches
- Teeth Grinding
- TMJ Therapy
- Restorative Dentistry
Schedule An Appointment
Dr. Van Gurp welcomes new patients from Charlotte and many local communities. If you are concerned about the function of your bite or experience recurring headaches, schedule an appointment with Dr. Van Gurp for an evaluation of your dental health. Contact us at (704) 746-3160 or request an appointment online.