While aspirin is a great way to alleviate the discomfort caused by a headache, you could find that the over-the-counter medication simply isn’t enough. The problem might be with your teeth rather than anything else. Dr. Stevens and the rest of us at Dr. Chris Stevens Family & Cosmetic Dentistry are here to investigate if your pain is caused by a TMJ disorder and how we can help.
TMJ stands for “temporomandibular joint,” and the reason a TMJ disorder can lead to headaches is that there are several facial nerves that run right along the joint. The joint disorder could be triggered when you grind or clench your teeth, which is known as bruxism. There could also be cramping in your jaw that’s causing the headache.
Additionally, your bite could be out of line, which is known as malocclusion. What’s happening is your facial muscles are attempting to keep your jaw in alignment, which can trigger headaches.
Thankfully, there are a number of ways to treat TMJ disorders, including therapy, medication, and surgery. With therapy, you can perform exercises designed to stretch and improve your jaw muscles. You can also look into using either mouth guards or oral splints. There’s also counseling, which is designed to give you deeper insight into why you’re having pain in the first place.
Medication options include muscle relaxants, pain relievers, and tricyclic antidepressants. There are also over-the-counter anti-inflammatories you can use to treat your discomfort.
Receiving a corticosteroid or Botox injection in your joint might help with your discomfort and relieve any pain you’re experiencing. Arthrocentesis is a type of minimally-invasive procedure that uses small needles so that fluid can be moved through the joint to take care of inflammatory substances and debris.