Sometimes seeing a dentist can feel like a headache, but did you ever stop to think that a visit could be the first step to managing and treating your chronic migraines? Dentists work with all the structures of the mouth, including the jaw, so they’re actually the most ideal medical professional to see if your head is hurting or if you have joint pain.
During your visit, Dr. Todd Canatella will closely examine your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which connects the lower jaw to the skull. He’ll be able to determine in great detail if undue pressure is stressing this joint and offer solutions going forward.
Don’t be part of the 38 million Americans that suffer from migraines. Keep reading to learn how his treatments can truly make a difference in your daily life.
HOW A DISTRESSED TMJ CAUSES MIGRAINES
While migraines are one symptom of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), the condition is also characterized by chronic jaw pain, typically after waking up. If you have TMD, it essentially means your jaw is not functioning properly due to additional stress placed on the joint. Furthermore, if you experience any of the following symptoms on top of your headaches, it’s important that you visit our practice as soon as you can. They include:
- Sleep disturbances
- Waking up to sore jaw muscles or headaches
- Clicking and locking of the jaw
- Difficulty chewing
Additionally, pain caused by TMD is not exclusive to the head or jaw. In many cases, pain can also appear in the ears, shoulders, neck and even the upper back. Luckily, Dr. Canatella is experienced in treating TMD pain directly at the source, which is the only way you’ll reduce your discomfort and improve your quality of life.
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HOW DR. CANATELLA DIAGNOSES TMD
During your appointment, Dr. Canatella will be very thorough about your symptoms, which allow him to make a clearer diagnosis. Many of these symptoms often go unnoticed by patients, but Dr. Canatella has seen them time and time again. They include:
- Worn down or broken teeth
- Improperly seated crowns and bridges
- Poor orthodontic treatments
The first step to solving your joint pain and headaches is to make your bite more even. Fixing your bite all around the lower and upper teeth is critical to reducing stress on your jaw muscles and joint. Remember, the sooner you come in, the sooner our practice can diagnose you and design a treatment plan.
LEARN ABOUT YOUR TREATMENT OPTIONS
Dr. Canatella’s treatment options include either a nightguard or Botox injections, both of which have proved to be ideal solutions to pain caused by the TMJ.
A nightguard is a customized mouthpiece that is typically worn while you sleep. This works to
- shift the position of the jaw
- prevent clenching and stress on the TMJ
- create a more even bite
Alternatively, Botox can work to prevent stress on the facial muscles. You may think that Botox only carries cosmetic purposes, but it’s actually a proven solution to those suffering from migraines caused by TMD. To accomplish this, Dr. Rachel Neumeyer injects the Botox solution into specific facial muscles, which temporarily paralyzes them. It only takes a few minutes, is completely painless, and you can experience the results immediately.
Patients of both treatments often describe immediate pain relief that lasts for a long time, allowing them to lead a normal life without stress to their TMJ. No matter how severe your pain is, you don’t want to be part of the many millions of people who don’t seek treatment. We hope to see you in the office soon; contact us today!