Why a TMJ Specialist in the Waterford Area May be Able to Help You Address Chronic Headaches

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Most people experience occasional headaches. When a more infrequent occurrence, headaches may be little more than a nuisance easily handled with over-the-counter medication. There are millions of Americans for whom headaches are far more problematic. Chronic headaches are not the same for every person but may have a similar effect in terms of quality of life. Whether headaches cause pain in a more localized area, or they feel like all-over pressure, the goal in treatment is to get a handle on pain by determining its underlying cause. It may come as a surprise to hear that the best person to see for chronic headaches may just be your temporomandibular joint specialist at Metro Imaging Center. In the Waterford area, we have helped many people regain a better quality of life through personalized headache care.

Headaches that do not respond to conventional treatment for TMJ disorder, or even those that temporarily improve with conventional treatment, can be evaluated at Metro Imaging Center. What is involved in most headaches is some type of dysfunction affecting the neuromuscular system, specifically, dysfunction in the joints of the jaw.

The primary sensory nerve in the head and face is the trigeminal nerve. It is also the nerve that commands movement in the temporomandibular joints in the jaw. Without the capability of the trigeminal nerve, we would not have the function of chewing, biting, and swallowing. Sensation in the face would also be limited. Hyper-sensitization of the trigeminal nerve, on the other hand, can also be problematic.

When the trigeminal nerve overreacts to stimuli like clenching of the jaw, neuropeptide secretions occur and the arteries located near the brain become inflamed and irritated, causing pain in the head. The role of your TMJ specialist at Metro Imaging Center is to determine the extent and nature of dysfunction in the temporomandibular joints. When we can identify the cause of dysfunction, we can then design the most appropriate treatment plan to end the pain.

Oral appliance therapy is one of the most common methods of treating TMJ disorder and chronic headaches. We delve deeper into addressing the root cause, however. Using advanced CAT scan imaging, we can better pinpoint where dysfunction is occurring and why. We may discover that there is an undetected bite issue placing stress on the joints and devise a treatment plan to correct the misalignment. In any case, our focus is on the individual patient and the resolution of discomfort.

Chronic headaches can become less impactful of your quality of life when you find the cause. Contact Metro Imaging Center at (248) 716-8572 to learn more from our TMJ doctors about our available long-term treatment options.