Why do I wake up with a headache?

jaw pain treatment for TMJ in New Bern, North CarolinaDid you know that if you suffer from daily headaches, they may be related to your dental health?
If you wake up with headaches nearly every morning and find little relief from over the counter pain medications,  you may have TMD. Temporomandibular Disorder affects many patients, often goes undiagnosed and is commonly mistreated. Patients become frustrated by painful symptoms, headaches, and chronic fatigue.

New Bern, NC Dentist Dr. J. Stephen Hoard provides patients with comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of TMJ disorders. TMJ has no one cause but is common in patients who grind their teeth in their sleep. Pinpointing the underlying cause of TMJ can allow for more effective treatment that minimizes discomfort.

Do I have TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint, used for speaking and eating, is the delicate joint that attaches the skull to the jaw. The jaw joint can be easily damaged or may become misaligned or overused. Patients who grind their teeth while they sleep put added pressure on the joint. Patients typically grind their teeth in their sleep which prevents the joint and surrounding muscles from relaxing and having time to regenerate. Teeth grinding is a common cause of TMD and headaches.

  • Headaches, including migraines
  • Jaw pain and dysfunction (clicking, popping and locking)
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Ear pain or loss of hearing

Dr. Hoard evaluates occlusion during all routine visits and look for signs of teeth grinding. Typical signs that a patient may grind their teeth include excessively worn or damaged teeth.
Headaches caused by teeth grinding can be reduced with the introduction of an oral sleep appliance. An oral sleep appliance is a custom designed to reduce the tension in the TMJ caused by malocclusion or teeth grinding. The oral appliance repositions the jaw into a comfortable bite allowing the will alleviate headaches and other possible symptoms. This can be accomplished with appropriate treatment- addressing the underlying cause for lasting comfort and a healthy smile.

If you have been experiencing recurring headaches or migraines with no relief from traditional treatment options, discuss your concerns with Dr. Hoard at your next visit, or make an appointment. You may have an undiagnosed bite TMJ disorder. Call our office or go online today.