Those Chronic Headaches Could Be Linked to TMJ

Do you often wake up with headaches? Do you frequently suffer from jaw pain that makes it difficult to chew your food? You may have a condition called Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, which is jaw pain from various medical and/or dental problems.

Fortunately, Dr. Hyun S. Bang, Dr. Sonali Chhabra, and Dr. Faith Victoriano at Hyun S. Bang, DDS in San Francisco, California, can provide relief. Dr. Hyun Bang and her team offer the Bioesthetic Maxillary Anterior Guided Orthosis (Bio-MAGO) device to help patients overcome problems related to TMJ.

What is TMJ?

The TMJ is made up of nerves, bones, muscles, and blood vessels and is on both sides of your jaw. The TMJ is what connects your lower jaw to your skull, which explains how you can experience both head and jaw pain from grinding or clenching your teeth. Many people do this under stress or when dealing with anxiety, and don’t realize that they’re doing it! Over time, this can lead to problems in the head, neck, ear, and jaw.

If not treated, you may start to hear clicking or popping sounds when biting into your food or have problems with biting altogether. You should definitely see a doctor if you have difficulties opening your jaw.

What causes TMJ

People clench their jaws or grind their teeth for many different reasons, which may include:

Trauma

Many people who have experienced an emotional or physical trauma grind their teeth as a coping mechanism, which can lead to head and jaw pain.

Osteoarthritis

It’s natural for joints to become sore as we age, and the joints holding your jaw together are no exception. As the joints degenerate naturally, the wear-and-tear can result in lost cartilage, which can cause head and jaw pain.

Other causes

TMJ can be caused by certain cancers, as well as bone deformities diagnosed at birth.

How TMJ is treated

Depending on the severity of your condition, you may be able to treat the pain at home with over-the-counter pain medication or applying a warm compress to your jaw. You may want to avoid crunchy foods until your pain subsides. Some patients may benefit from wearing a Bio-MAGO TMJ device - an advanced oral appliance that allows the jaw muscles to relax, preventing them from causing harm to your teeth, jaw, and joints. The Bio-MAGO device has been proven to not only help symptoms of TMJ, but to also improve posture, reduce snoring, decrease the number of migraines, and more. 

Learn more about TMJ

If you’ve been experiencing chronic jaw pain and are concerned you may have TMJ, please schedule an appointment by calling 415-213-2599. You can also request an appointment online through our website. We look forward to hearing from you.

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