Common Causes of Facial Pain and Headaches

Feb 10th, 2012 | By | Category: Dental News, TMJ Treatment

facial pain

We treat headaches and facial pain

Have you seen your family physician or an ENT specialist for your chronic facial pain and still haven’t received a proper diagnosis? Are those over-the-counter analgesics and sinus medications not providing any relief at all? It may surprise you to discover that your facial pain and headaches may be caused by a problem your dentist could fix. TMJ dysfunction and bruxism are two common causes of these chronic pains, and if you have these conditions, relief is only as far away as your dentist’s chair.

What is TMJ dysfunction?

The temporomandibular (TMJ) joints are the two joints on either side of the face that connect the jaw to the skull in front of the ears. TMJ dysfunction occurs when these joints become inflamed, which can lead to pain in the face, jaw, head, and neck. There are many possible causes of TMJ dysfunction, including teeth grinding, misalignment of the teeth and jaw, excessive gum chewing, and arthritis.

What is bruxism?

Bruxism is a condition characterized by a clenching of your jaw and grinding of your teeth. Because this grinding and clenching often occurs during sleep, you may not notice that you are doing it. While you are awake, you may clench your jaw in stressful situations and still not notice you are creating such tension in your face. Bruxism is usually brought on by stress or consumption of caffeine, certain prescription drugs, or alcohol. Chewing a piece of gum, your fingernails, or your pen are also bad habits that can contribute to grinding your teeth at night. If left untreated, bruxism can result in worn down or broken teeth and TMJ dysfunction.

What treatments are available for these conditions?

Drs. Denes and Denes can fit you with a mouth guard to wear at night that will keep your jaw in the proper position, prevent clenching and grinding, and protect your teeth. They will also advise you on any necessary lifestyle changes to help alleviate the problem, such as relieving your stress, eliminating consumption of certain substances, and stopping gum chewing. If your TMJ disorder or bruxism is caused by teeth that do not meet properly due to poor dental work, Drs. Denes and Denes can replace any ill-fitting crowns. If your problems are due to a more severe misalignment of the bones in the jaw or face, you may need orthodontics or jaw surgery to provide full relief.

If your headaches and facial pain are taking a toll on your daily life, Drs. Denes and Denes can help. Call Fresno Dental Studio at (559) 297-1800 to schedule an appointment today. We happily serve patients in Fresno, Clovis, Sanger, Mendota, Orange Cove, Reedley, Selma, and the surrounding areas.

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