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Got Bad Headaches? Learn How Your Dentist Can Help!

Unfortunately, some people think going to the dentist for their regular checkups can be a bit of a headache. However, did you ever stop to think that your headaches could be treated by Dr. Kelly? If you’re experiencing problems with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) relief is only a few appointments away.

To be more specific, 45 million Americans suffer from headaches every day. Out of those 45 million, 37 million suffer from migraines, which are far more intense. However, only 8 million people seek professional treatment for their headaches. When you single out Albuquerque, that’s 78,000 people who suffer from headaches with only 14,000 who seek treatment.

To kick off our April newsletter, let’s focus on one of the leading cause of headaches: TMJ dysfunction is a common undiagnosed source of your pain.

Dentisth showing teeth xray

How Your TMJ Could Be the Cause

If you’re experiencing chronic headaches, the first area you’re going to want to pay attention to is your jaw. This jaw pain typically stems from temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD for short. If you have TMD, it means that your jaw is not functioning properly and needs to be addressed. Other symptoms patients typically experience include:

  • Clenching and grinding at night
  • Sleep disturbances, waking numerous times may be associated with sleep apnea
  • Waking up to sore jaw muscle(s) or a headache
  • Teeth that have been worn down over the years from grinding, affecting your appearance

Keep in mind, pain and other issues with your jaw often cause pain to appear in other surrounding areas, such as your head or ears. By improving the function of your TMJ, you can effectively reduce the pain directly at the source. Luckily, Dr. Kelly has been treating patients with headaches and TMD for years in Albuquerque, so you’ll be getting care that is specialized and catered to your needs.

How Your Dentist Diagnoses TMD

Dentist showing teeth model

When you visit us, you’ll quickly learn we intend on looking for other symptoms, not just your headaches. There are actually many physical symptoms and conditions that our dentist notices that you may not have otherwise considered to be the cause for your pain. A few examples include:

  • Previous orthodontic treatment (may have had extractions)
  • Previous crowns and bridges that may affect your bite
  • Shoulder, neck, and upper back pain
  • Earaches, ringing and maybe dizziness

Once Dr. Kelly has the chance to observe your symptoms and conditions, he will provide a thorough diagnosis. The first step he takes to improve the condition of your TMJ is create a solid and even bite all the way around your lower and upper teeth. This reduces stress on your jaw muscles and joint. The sooner you come in, the sooner he can make a thorough diagnosis and design a treatment plan for you.

Dr. Kelly

How Your Dentist Treats TMD

After completing a bite analysis of your jaw, Dr. Kelly will have sufficient information to provide effective treatment. This is typically done through an oral splint (also known as a mouthguard) that you’ll wear while you sleep. This device realigns your joint and reestablishes the relationship between your jaw and TMJ. Many of our patients report a lower frequency and level of pain in their headaches after wearing it for a week or so.

As a general dentist, Dr. Kelly takes care of the health and beauty of your mouth before doing any form of advanced TMJ treatment. Since treatment for TMJ is complex, he puts a strong focus on reviewing your symptoms to provide the most accurate diagnosis possible. This helps him create a treatment plan that specifically caters to your needs and addresses the cause of your condition.

No matter how mild or severe your headaches are, don’t be part of the 64,000 who don’t seek treatment for their headaches in Albuquerque. If you, a friend, or a loved one suffer from daily headaches and don’t know how to prevent them, Dr. Kelly can help diagnose your condition once and for all. We hope to see you in the office soon and start on the road to less headaches!

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