Park Ridge Dentists Explain TMJ Headaches

woman in glasses with a headacheA headache is one of the most common forms of discomfort, and is a symptom shared by a plethora of illnesses. A headache can also occur for seemingly no reason, and disappear after you take a nap or a pain killer. Many patients who endure chronic, severe headaches don’t realize that the symptoms may not be random and without reason, but rather an indication of a serious dental issue. TMJ headaches result from a condition known as TMJ disorder, which affects the joints that control the jaw’s movement. Park Ridge dentists, Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi Loukas, take a brief glimpse at TMJ disorder, and how it can result in severe headaches and other chronic discomfort.

What is TMJ Disorder?

Your jaw’s joints are officially known as temporomandibular joints, or TMJs. They connect your lower jaw (mandible) to the temporal bones in your skull, and move in unison to pivot the jaw. Since they move simultaneously, TMJs depend on balance to operate smoothly and minimize pressure. If your bite is crooked from misaligned teeth and/or jaws, or if you habitually grind your teeth, the joints may be forced to absorb more pressure than they should, and can become misaligned, damaged, and swollen.

Connected by the Nerves

Aside from joints and muscles, your jaw also contains the most prominent nerve in your craniofacial structure—the trigeminal nerve. Technically, the nerve in your jaw is only one of the trigeminal nerve’s three branches, which innervate most of your head, neck, and facial areas. As a jaw dysfunction, TMJ disorder usually involves jaw, mouth, and facial pain, but because of the trigeminal nerve’s dominance, it can also lead to chronic and severe headaches, as well as earaches and pain in the neck, shoulders, and back.

Find Relief from Chronic TMJ Headaches with Your Park Ridge Dentists

To learn how to find relief from chronic TMJ headaches by treating the source of TMJ disorder, schedule an appointment with Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi Loukas by calling your Park Ridge implant dentists’ office at (847) 696-1919. Located in the 60068 area, we proudly serve patients from Park Ridge and the surrounding Chicago communities.