TMJ/TENSION HEADACHE CARE
Are you suffering from headaches, migraines, or joint pain in your jaw? These issues could be caused by your TMJ. When this joint malfunctions, it can cause pain and problems with chewing.
WHAT IS TMJ?
The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) connects the jawbone to the rest of the skull. Sometimes referred to simply as TMJ, TMJ disorders (TMD) can be caused by a number of factors. Before diagnosing the problem, our skilled dentists will perform a Doppler (ultrasound) TMJ analysis and a head and neck muscle evaluation. These examinations will give them an accurate look at the cause of your TMJ/tension headache problems.
HOW DO YOU TREAT TMJ AND TENSION HEADACHES?
At Luth & Heideman Center for Dental Care, we offer many different options for treating TMJ disorders, so you don’t have to live with the pain any longer!
NTI stands for Nociceptive Trigeminal Inhibition. NTI devices can be used to treat teeth grinding (bruxism), medically diagnosed migraines, and other TMJ disorders. An NTI device isn’t the same as a full teeth guard, instead, it is applied only in the front of the mouth. If you clench your teeth while wearing an NTI, the device will trigger a reflex that will cause the mouth to relax, preventing harm that can come from teeth grinding. This may be an appropriate solution as a minimally intensive way of resolving many TMJ disorders and providing you with more comfort.
The NTI device also often lessens the frequency of tension headaches, which may be linked to TMJ disorders and teeth grinding. Dr. Luth and Dr. Heideman are dedicated to finding the solution you need through TMJ and tension headache care in Las Vegas, Nevada.
NEEDLING AND TRIGGER POINT INJECTIONS
One way to control the pain of TMJ dysfunction is with needling or trigger point injections. This treatment should not be viewed as a cure but as a form of pain relief.
To help manage your pain, these injections can be numbing agents or steroids that are inserted into the precise muscle that is causing you trouble. We will probably offer this treatment in conjunction with another treatment so that you are getting the relief you need, and a permanent solution to the problem.
Botulinum toxin, known colloquially as Botox®, is a chemical normally used to treat wrinkles. This treatment is not used by many dentists which makes our practice unique and special.
With proper application, a Botox® injection can relieve stress around the jaw. Muscles that are normally over-stressed near the temporomandibular joint can be momentarily relaxed so they don’t cause as much pain.
BOTOX® treatments can provide much-needed relief for months at a time for most individuals.
If you have issues with grinding teeth, you may benefit from using a night guard. There are two different options for you to choose from: soft and hard night guards.
SOFT NIGHT GUARD
- Created from a more flexible material.
- Rubbery in texture.
- Allows for more flexibility in jaw movement.
- Meant for less severe cases of bruxism and teeth clenching.
HARD NIGHT GUARD
- Created from ridged, unyielding material.
- Designed for ultimate protection from teeth grinding.
- Meant for more severe cases of bruxism.
Another approach to addressing TMJ disorders is through the use of muscle relaxers. Cyclobenzaprine is a medication designed to relieve patients from muscle spasms. If the source of your tension headaches can be traced to muscle spasms, this option may be the most effective.
DOPPLER AUSCULTATION (ULTRASOUND) OF TMJ
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, we can thoroughly image the muscles around your jaw using Doppler auscultation. More colloquially known as an ultrasound, Doppler auscultation allows us to image the condition of your jaw. Using this advanced technology, we can more accurately assess the issues at hand and make targeted treatments, especially for your circumstance.
SILENT-NITE AND OPTISLEEP APPLIANCES
Those with obstructive sleep apnea or those whose snoring causes difficulty for them or a partner’s getting restful sleep could benefit from a Silent-Nite or OptiSleep oral appliance. Similar to a nightguard, this appliance slips over the teeth. Rather than solely preventing teeth grinding, the Silent-Nite and OptiSleep appliances move the lower jaw forward, assisting in keeping the upper airway open. These simple, but effective, devices may feel more comfortable to you than a c-pap machine.
ARE YOU READY FOR A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP?
If you have TMJ disorders, sleep apnea, tension headaches, or migraines, we can discuss treatment options with you. An evaluation and consultation could help you understand the problems you face with more clarity and will also equip you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Call Luth & Heideman in Las Vegas today to see if one of our treatments is right for you! We will gladly schedule your consultation and provide you with the care you need for a healthy smile and comfortable life.