Malocclusion, known simply as a “bad bite”, may be the culprit of a number of conditions including migraine headaches, snapping sounds in the jaw joint, dizziness, and ear pain or itching. When teeth come together incorrectly — be it from incorrect dental treatment, getting your dad’s dental genes, an unhealthy lifestyle or a car accident — it may make your life awful. Luckily, malocclusion is treatable.
Some 60 million people in America currently have Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJS).
For many years, the thought that a migraine headache was related to the jaw joint was not given serious attention. But today the medical and dental communities are supporting the conclusion that TMJS and chronic headaches/migraines are linked.
In fact, nearly all sufferers saw many doctors on the medical merry-go-round, seeing doctor after doctor, before they eventually came to our dental practice, often as a final, desperate plea for relief. That’s mainly because many individuals do not recognize that their particular conditions are actually linked to malocclusion.
Research through the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine evaluated the existence of TMJS in 24 patients referred to a neurology practice. The goal was to figure out the percentage of individuals referred to a neurology clinic for headache where TMJS is the foremost reason for pain. They found that 11 out of the 24 individuals with headache had TMJS. That percentage, nearly fifty percent is deemed a high proportion compared to the 15% in the total population of TMJS sufferers.
As scientific opinion continues to grow on the link involving headaches and TMJS, sufferers who feel they have this disorder should talk with any staff member at West Mill Smiles. The staff at West Mill Smiles has taken advanced training in this treatment.
Signs and Symptoms of TMJ
• Clicking or popping when opening your mouth
• Excessive yawning as you try to adjust your jaw
• Headaches and/or migraines
• Light headedness
• Tenderness in jaw muscles
• Ear ache
• Jaw from time to time locks up when yawning
• Spasms or cramps in the jaw area
Other symptoms that may not seem connected to malocclusion include shoulder, neck and back pain. While discomfort in the upper body might seem unrelated to the temporomandibular jaw joint, individuals suffering from TMJ are prone to repeatedly tilt their heads, compelling the muscles of the back, neck and shoulders to compensate.
Tingling or numbness in the hands and arms might also indicate TMJ syndrome. Why? Because spasming muscles in the jaw, neck and face, cause pinched nerves in the arms and hands.
And, finally, you can develop chronic depression after years of never-ending aches and pains.
If you have any of these symptoms, talk with us. West Mill Smiles’s treatment methods usually include no pills, no shots, no surgery, and no unwanted side effects. Dr. Lee can take care of these difficulties because they are most likely brought on by clenching your teeth when you are asleep and sometimes during the day. When you clench your teeth, you make use of a number of the strongest muscles in the human body. These kinds of muscle contractions might cause morning headaches and/or stress headaches, and even damage nearby ligaments, teeth, and other muscles.
The majority of dental treatment to treat malocclusion necessitates the use of a splint, or an oral device which temporarily modifies the bite. In more serious cases, the doctor might advise a long-term change in the bite with tooth replacement, shifting teeth using orthodontic treatment, or a combination of bonding and crowns or veneers. For numerous affected individuals, the results have been effective and their return to a pain-free state has given these folks one more chance for a more rewarding life.