Headaches are incredibly common, and the World Health Organization estimates that nearly everyone experiences at least one headache at some point in life. Dehydration, stress, and lack of sleep are just a few conditions that can trigger a headache.
Surprisingly, even problems with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can lead to daily headaches. Your TMJ is designed to connect your skull to your lower jaw, and if the joint isn’t functioning correctly, you may find yourself waking up with a headache each morning. If you’ve eliminated your other headache triggers but still wake up in pain, it’s time to consider a TMJ disorder as the culprit.
At Innovative Dental Ideas, our dentist Dr. James Butler doesn’t just offer ways to mask your pain. From BotoxⓇ to bite treatments to dental implants, our team is ready to help you get the relief you need by treating the source of your problem.
If you’re waking up with headaches, here’s what you need to know about the possibility that temporomandibular disorder (TMD) may be to blame.
Quick facts about TMDs
Everyone has two temporomandibular joints, located on both sides of your head besides your ears, that connects your jawbone to your skull. TMDs can cause pain in the jaw, facial muscles, and neck. You might even hear your jaw click when you talk or eat. In more serious cases, your jaw might feel locked up.
TMDs can arise from:
- Injuries to the jaw
- Genetic problems
- Arthritis in the jaw
- Bruxism (teeth grinding)
Determining the cause of your pain is the first step to feeling better.
Signs your headache is related to a TMD
Your TMJ is a complicated joint because it not only opens and closes, but it also slides. Due to the complexity of TMDs, it’s possible that you notice a wide range of symptoms including clicking, locking, and pain.
Besides jaw pain, a TMD can also lead to headaches in the morning. Bruxism — grinding your teeth — is a common cause of TMD pain, and it can also stress your facial muscles. All of this tension can impact the muscles in your cheeks, jaw, neck, and shoulders, resulting in a headache.
You might suspect that your headache is caused by TMD if:
- You have the headache as soon as you wake up
- You also have clicking, popping, or locking of your jaw
- You grind your teeth
- Your bite has changed
- You’ve eliminated other headache triggers
If you suspect your headache is linked to TMD, it’s time to get answers from Dr. Butler, who has over 33 years of experience treating TMDs.
Your treatment depends upon what is causing your specific TMD. Possible treatments include:
- Botox to relax muscles contributing to headaches
- Dental treatments to realign your bite
- A nightguard to wear while you sleep
- Lifestyle changes, like avoiding hard or chewy candy
If you’re tired of waking up each day with a headache, contact us to learn more about your TMD treatment options. Request an appointment at our office in Hilliard, Ohio, by calling 614-529-0062 or try our convenient online booking tool.