UMKC Dental Faculty Practice TMD Dental Patient Amy

Malocclusion, known simply as a “bad bite”, could possibly be the most likely culprit of a series of conditions like migraines, popping noises in the jaw joint, vertigo, and ear pain or itching. When teeth line up poorly — whether it’s from incorrect dental treatment, getting your mom’s dental genes, bad habits or accidental oral trauma — it can make your life awful. The good news is, malocclusion is curable.

Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMD) is actually a problem over 60 million people in America currently have.

For many years, the thought that a migraine headache was linked to the jaw joint had not been given serious attention. But now it appears the medical and dental communities are in agreement that TMD and chronic headaches/migraines are linked.

In fact, most affected individuals took numerous rides on the medical merry-go-round, seeing doctor after doctor, before they eventually came to our dental practice, frequently as a final, desperate plea for relief. That is simply because many people do not recognize that their conditions are actually linked to malocclusion.

Research through the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine examined the presence of Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome in twenty-four patients referred to a neurology clinic. The goal was to determine the number of sufferers referred to a neurology clinic for headaches where TMD is the foremost source of pain. They found that 11 out of the 24 sufferers with headaches had TMD. That percentage, nearly fifty percent is thought to be a very high percentage compared to the 15% in the overall population of TMD sufferers.

As scientific opinion proceeds to grow regarding the relationship involving headaches and TMD, people who think they have this disorder should talk with any staff member at UMKC Dental Faculty Practice. Our dentists have been to advanced training in this treatment.

UMKC Dental Faculty Practice TMD Dental Patient Jing Lee

Signs and Symptoms of TMD

• Popping or clicking whenever opening your mouth 
• Excessive yawning as you try to adjust your jaw 
• Severe headaches and/or migraines
• Dizziness
• Tenderness in jaw muscles
• Stuffy ears
• Jaw sometimes locks up while yawning
• Spasms or cramps in the jaw area

Other seemingly unrelated symptoms include muscle aches in your shoulders, neck and/or back. While discomfort in this part of the body could be seen as having no relationship to the mouth area, individuals suffering from malocclusion are most likely going to tilt their heads over and over, thereby forcing the neck, shoulder, and back muscles to stabilize the head.

Tingling or numbness in the hands and arms could also be an unexpected sign of TMD disorder. Why? Because nerves in your arms and hands being squeezed by muscle spasms in the neck, shoulders and face.

Finally, to add insult to injury, you can develop chronic depression after years of never-ending aches and pains.

If you suffer from one or more of these symptoms, speak with any staff member. UMKC Dental Faculty Practice’s solutions usually consist of zero pills, zero shots, zero surgery, and no adverse reactions. We are able to treat these issues as they are most likely a result of clenching your teeth when you are asleep and sometimes throughout the day. When you clench your teeth, you utilize many of the most powerful muscles within your body. These muscle contractions may cause early morning headaches and/or stress headaches, and perhaps harm surrounding ligaments, teeth, and other muscles.

Almost all dental treatment to treat malocclusion involves the usage of a splint, or an oral device that temporarily alters the bite. In more extreme cases, the doctor might propose a long-term change in the bite with tooth replacement, moving teeth through orthodontic therapy, or perhaps a combination of bonding and crowns or veneers. For numerous people, the final results were successful and their return to a pain-free level has offered these people an additional chance for a far more rewarding life.