Temporomandibular Disorder & Headache Treatment

It is a condition which occurs due to problems with the jaw point, jaw, and surrounding facial muscles which control jaw movements and chewing. Sometimes, people get confused with the condition as TMJ (Temporomandibular joint). The cause for TMD is not clear. Dentists believe that they arise from problems with the muscles of the jaw or parts of the joints. It may be caused due to several reasons including injury to the jaw, muscles of the head and neck or temporomandibular joint. There can be other causes such as:

  • Dislocation of the soft cushion or disc between the ball and socket
  • Stress, which can cause a person to tighten facial and jaw muscles or clench the teeth
  • Presence of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the TMJ
  • Grinding or clenching the teeth, which puts a lot of pressure on the TMJ

Severe pain and discomfort are the two main symptoms of temporomandibular disorder. Mostly, the condition affects people between the ages of 20 to 40 years old. Other common symptoms of TMD are:

  • Inability to open the mouth very widely
  • Jaw that gets locked or stuck when in open or closed position
  • Tired feeling in the face
  • Swelling on the one side
  • Difficulty in chewing
  • Toothache
  • Headache
  • Dizziness and
  • Neck ache etc.

Researches point that there can be other issues connected to TMD such as hearing problem, upper shoulder pain, tinnitus etc. The condition is diagnosed by analyzing the symptoms and through careful physical examination. The condition can be mild, moderate or severe. Mild cases do not require much treatments; it can be cured through simple care such as by:

  • Eating soft foods
  • Applying moist heat or cold packs
  • Taking medications
  • Wearing a splint or night guard
  • Low-level laser therapy
  • Keeping your teeth slightly apart
  • Learning relaxation techniques
  • Avoiding extreme jaw movements etc.  

 Moderate cases may require treatments like:

  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Ultrasound
  • Radio wave therapy and
  • Trigger-point injections etc.

 More severe cases may require surgery. Mainly there are three types of surgeries such as:

  • Arthrocentesis
  •   Arthroscopy and
  • Open-joint surgery