Headaches inhibit daily activities. They range from annoying to debilitating and can be chronic. While difficult to find the cause of headaches, doctors can research a patient’s stress, diet, genetics, and lifestyle to find clues. If you suffer from chronic, severe headaches, and/or migraines, you may want to consult your dentist. Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD, also referred to as TMJ) could be to blame.

Located on either side of the skull, the temporomandibular joints attach the lower jaw to the skull. The flexibility of these joints allows the jaw to perform everyday actions of chewing and speaking. If the jaw is not properly aligned, TMJ disorder can develop. The joint misalignment may stress nerves, muscles, and blood vessels near the joints, which can lead to facial pain and headaches.

The trigeminal nerve passes near the temporomandibular joints and sends pain signals to the brain. Spasms, pressure, and pain in the face and behind the eyes can result and lead to TMJ-induced sinus headaches.

Sufferers of TMJ may complain of muscle and neck pain due to the head trying to remain balanced and properly aligned. Tension in the muscles may lead to chronic tension headaches.

Severe TMJ can induce migraine headaches when constant pressure is placed on the trigeminal nerve and a number of chemicals are released in the brain. Migraines can also result when a person experiences reduced blood flow in the brain due to pressure on blood vessels.

I’m Dr. Corbet Locke, and I can effectively treat and diagnose TMJ disorder. By using advanced technology, I’m able to determine the severity of damage and the best method to treat TMJ disorder. If your physician has been unable to treat your chronic headaches or migraines, contact my Waco dentist office at (254)776-4888 for a consultation. I proudly serve patients from Waco, Hewitt, Woodway, and central Texas areas. Find out if TMJ is giving you a headache today!