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Chronic Headache? It Might Be TMD

  • April 1, 2014

People with chronic migraines and headaches know real pain. It’s impossible to work or study when it feels like someone is trying to break your skull open with a machete. Drugs can help, but they treat only the symptoms, not the root cause of the problem. To end pain for good, you have to dig a little deeper.

Persistent headaches and migraines can be caused by anything from stress to hormonal changes. But did you know that headaches can also be due to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)? The temporomandibular joints or TMJs are joints that connect the skull to the lower jaw. To feel the joints move, place your fingers right in front of your ears and open your mouth wide.

TMD can be caused by joint injury, teeth grinding and jaw clenching, or anything that puts extra pressure on the joints. When the TMJs are injured, diseased, arthritic, or stressed, they can cause migraines, headaches, and pain that extends to the head and neck. Discomfort can be temporary or chronic, lasting for years.

When to See a Specialist

TMD should not be ignored. If left untreated, the condition can lead to more serious problems. See your Columbia dentist right away if you experience frequent headaches, toothaches, earaches, ringing in the ears, pain or discomfort when you eat, speak or laugh, locking and popping sounds when you open your mouth, and facial tenderness.

Dr. Forbes is a TMD specialist in Columbia, SC with extensive experience diagnosing and treating jaw joint problems. Dr. Forbes may recommend night splints, bite guards, lifestyle changes, bite alignment, and other conservative approaches before considering drugs and surgery. The important thing is to get at the root cause to prevent symptoms from recurring.

Call 803-272-4162 now to schedule a consultation with Dr. Forbes.


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