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Health Issues Your Dentist Can Help Diagnose and Treat Part III – TMJ Disorder / Migraines

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5-star reviews from satisfied customers

3 minutes read

What is The TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint connecting the lower jaw to the skull, which allows our jawbone to move as needed for eating, speaking, and yawning. The joint is supported by muscles located on top and at the sides of the head, underneath the jaw near the throat, and the cheeks. These are connected to muscles in the chest and shoulders by tendons and other muscles.

What is TMJ Disorder and How Do I Determine if it is Causing My Migraine?

When the TMJ is out of alignment, which often occurs in patients with malocclusion or a “bad bite,” it can cause strain on the adjoining muscles. When head and facial muscles are affected by this strain, the patient may suffer a migraine headache. Because treatment for migraine depends on identifying the cause of the headache, it is important to determine if the headaches are related to TMJ disorder, or if the two just tend to happen simultaneously.
The correct diagnosis can be made by determining whether the patient is showing any of the other signs of typical TMJ disorder such as:

  • Pain and tenderness in one or both TMJ joints or the jaw itself
  • The occurrence of parafunction (jaw clenching or grinding)
  • Facial pain or ache when you speak or eat
  • Pain that resembles an earache – in and around one or both ears
  • A locking sensation in the joint or stiffness that makes opening and closing the jaw Difficult
  • Pain accompanied by clicking or grating sounds when speaking or chewing

If you have any of these symptoms as well as migraines, even if you do not experience them simultaneously, you could have migraine headaches triggered by TMJ disorder. 

Causes of TMJ Disorder

Poor jaw alignment, an injury to the TMJ, or long-term teeth grinding or clenching, can cause TMJ disorder. The temporomandibular joint works like a sliding hinge, with the bones covered in cartilage and separated by a small disk that acts as a shock absorber. When this disk is moved out of alignment, it can cause a variety of symptoms. Anything that breaks down the cartilage, like various forms of arthritis and connective tissue diseases, can also contribute to TMJ disorder.

How Your Neuromuscular Dentist in Glenview, IL May be Able to Help

While TMJ disorder is not the cause of all migraines, it causes pain and discomfort on its own as well as being a known contributing factor for migraine headaches. For patients suffering from both migraine attacks and TMJ disorder, there is always a risk one has nothing to do with the other. However, treating the TMJ issue will likely help to reduce migraine frequency, nonetheless.

At Chicago Beautiful Smiles, you will work with a dentist in Glenview, IL who understands how this joint disorder can affect the rest of the body, and whose goal is to develop a treatment plan to restore systemic health and function. Call today.

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Real Patient Reviews

Real Patient Reviews

I have been going to this practice for several years now. I seemingly never have to wait when I arrive at the office and they are all very professional. Dr. Hartlieb and Dr. Ching have been terrific. In addition to doing great dental work, each has a great rapport with their patients. All of their assistants have been top notch as well.

- Neil H.

I recently met with Dr. Ching to have some dental work done, and had an exceptional experience at this office! I usually hate going to the dentist, but this experience was different–this office is hands-down, THE nicest dental facilitiy I have ever seen.

- Shaun F.

This dental office is something I haven’t seen before. I had many past dental experiences at other dental offices (unfortunately not good) and finally I found Chicago Beautiful Smiles. Dr. Hartlieb had helped me restore my teeth to a beautiful smile.

- Natasa R.

I am a loyal patient for over (yikes!) 20 years because I appreciate the time, skill and patience of the entire team. As proof of my gratitude, I live in the city and reverse commute every six months for my appointment.

- Dennis H.

Dr. Hartlieb is by far the best dentist I have ever been to. He has transformed my smile into something of beauty. In fact, many people comment on how beautiful my teeth are who do not even know that I have had major dental work performed. I used to never want to smile that large before, but now I smile as big as possible when photographed.

- Fran L.

I always have a great experience when I go to Chicago Beautiful Smiles. The staff is amazing and Dr. Hartlieb and Dr. Ching are extremely knowledgeable and friendly. The facility is incredible and I feel like I’m being treated with the best technology in the dental industry. Go to Chicago Beautiful Smiles for a consultation and I guarantee you will go back time and time again. It does not get any better in the Chicago area.

- Antonio S.

I had a great experience with Dr. Ching – very professional and thorough in his craft. I had been seeing my previous dentist for the past 15 years; however, I am ready to make the permanent switch to Chicago Beautiful Smiles. Dr. Ching is great at explaining the procedures he was performing and made my visit comfortable.

- Brian M.

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2601 Compass Rd. Suite 100
Glenview, IL 60026

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