Serving areas of Okemos, Lansing, and East Lansing, MI
Headaches plague just about everyone at some point in life, but for some, the pain is frequent and debilitating. While occasional headaches caused by dehydration, stress, or allergies generally are easy to deal with, what happens when you seem to get headaches all of the time and for no identifiable reason? You probably rely on medication, either over-the-counter or prescription, to manage the pain.
While headache medicine works, is it a lasting solution?
Dr. Christine Tenaglia, a dentist in Okemos that offers treatment for TMJ disorder, takes a medication-free approach to provide headache relief for patients suffering from a misaligned jaw or TMJ disorder. Find out how TMJ disorder could be the cause of your headaches, and how Dr. Tenaglia can help.
Let’s first take a look at how what TMJ disorder has to do with headaches
The temporomandibular joints (just a fancy word for jaw joints) connect your jaw to your skull. One of the most prominent nerves in the entire body, the trigeminal nerve, runs from the spinal cord and branches off into the jaw, face, and forehead. It is a complex cranial nerve that, when aggravated, can send pain signals to the teeth, sinuses, jaw, eyes, head, or neck. In severe cases, pain may even radiate to the spin, causing back pain.
If the jaw joints are misaligned for whatever reason, the joints become inflamed, restricting blood supply and irritating the trigeminal nerve. This can be directly connected to frequent headaches, and the reason why your headache medicine only masks the pain for a few hours, but then your head starts hurting again. If you are tired of managing your headaches with medicine or want to learn about a natural way to treat TMJ disorder, then you have come to the right place!
Diagnosing TMJ Disorder
A dental exam is the first step in diagnosing TMJ disorder. Dr. Tenaglia not only performs an assessment but also uses specially designed equipment to track your jaw movement. This jaw tracking device will compute the exact degree at which your jaw is misaligned, which aids in developing a precise treatment plan. Other technologies Dr. Tenaglia uses during the diagnostics step are sonography, and electromyography, both of which capture imaging that provides precise information regarding your condition.
Once it has been diagnosed that you have TMJ disorder, Dr. Tenaglia can begin treatment. Treating TMJ disorder is unique, however, because each patient’s needs will vary. But, Dr. Tenaglia may begin by focusing on muscle relaxation, which can be achieved by what is called a TENS unit, which uses ultra-low frequencies of electrical stimulation. This may sound like it is painful and scary, but the machine has various adjustments, and Dr. Tenaglia will find the right level to help relax your muscles. This process should feel relaxing, not uncomfortable.
The next step is to stabilize your bite. Since TMJ disorder has everything to do with how your teeth come together when you bite, Dr. Tenaglia will design a custom made oral appliance that holds your jaw in the right position. You will wear this splint as directed by Dr. Tenaglia to provide your jaw with relief and help manage your headaches.
Long-term management of TMJ disorder involves rebuilding your bite. If you have uneven or crooked teeth, or even missing teeth that contribute to your misaligned bite, then Dr. Tenaglia can provide dental treatments to fix these problems, restoring your bite once and for all.
Correcting your bite should relieve your chronic headaches, which also means you won’t have to rely on medication any longer! If you are tired of living with pain and want to find natural relief for headaches, Dr. Tenaglia can help.
Treating TMJ disorder is complicated and requires the help of an experienced doctor. If you would like to learn more about how Dr. Tenaglia treats TMJ disorder in Okemos or looking for a qualified doctor that diagnoses and treats jaw joint disorders, contact Tenaglia Smiles today. You can book your consultation by calling (517) 347-6733. We provide complete oral care to patients in Okemos, Lansing, and East Lansing, Michigan.