Non-Surgical Headache Treatment
Most people don’t consider seeing an orthodontist as a cure for headaches. However, when headache pain stems from misaligned jaw joints caused by malocclusion, orthodontic treatment using oral splint therapy is a minimally invasive treatment option. Otherwise, TMJ disorder can quickly become a painful oral health problem.
What is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joints, the small hinges that connect the jaw to the skull. Various factors can cause the TMJ joints to become misaligned, including jaw injury, stress, teeth grinding, osteoarthritis, poor posture, and bad oral habits such as nail biting. When the TMJs do not function properly because of a misalignment, the surrounding muscles work overtime, which irritates associated nerves. This causes pain that can range from headaches and migraines to earaches and pain in the mouth, neck, shoulders, and even the lower back. Some patients also experience bruxism, which is the habit of unconsciously grinding and clenching the teeth. Others report popping or clicking jaws and an inability to fully open the mouth.
Oral Splint Therapy
With oral splint therapy, Dr. Cabal can reposition your jaw to hold your TMJ joints in proper position and relieve your pain. In addition to pain relief, restoring your jaw joints to their ideal position will make biting and chewing more comfortable. After splint therapy for TMJ dysfunction, bruxism can also subside, which will prevent excessive wear on your teeth and damage to your gums and jawbone.
After a simple exam, combined with the latest orthodontic technology to help with diagnosis, Dr. Cabal can determine if malocclusion is the cause of your TMJ dysfunction. If so, Dr. Cabal may recommend an oral splint. Similar to a nightguard, the device repositions the jaw to reduce the symptoms of TMJ dysfunction. The oral splint will be custom-made based on digital impressions taken of your teeth and gums. The sooner you obtain your free orthodontic consultation in Fort Worth, the sooner Lake Country Orthodontics can outline a treatment plan to alleviate your TMJ pain.