Headaches are a mystery.
It is still not fully understood what causes them and how they occur.
Yet, almost everyone has experienced, at least occasionally, a mild or severe pain between the temples.
In most instances, over-the-counter pain drugs — such as aspirin, ketoprofen, and ibuprofen, can provide relief but in a small number of cases a patient has to consult a doctor for prescription medications or long-term treatments.
What Causes Headaches?
Headaches are caused by the body’s response to the changes in environment or an underlying disease.
Though the skull and the brain are insensitive to pain both organs are surrounded by pain-sensitive membranes which are affected by a lack of sleep, exposure to allergens, and stress.
Fatigue and hunger are two more external causes.
Internally, large fluctuations in hormonal levels, such as estrogen, make 50 percent American population (women) more susceptible to headaches.
Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is a disease of the jaw that affects millions of Americans each year and can cause anywhere between a mild and debilitating headache.
This article explores the relationship between TMD and pain the head; how it can be diagnosed, and how the diagnoses can help a person get rid of his or her headache.
What is TMD?
Any problem that prevents the muscles, bones, and joints in the mouth from working together is a type of TMD.
It affects jaw muscles, temporomandibular joints (TMJ) and the facial part of the nervous system.
The TMJ is a complex joint and one of the few in the body that can move side to side, backwards and forwards, and up and down.
Frequent headaches are a symptom that TMD is not working in harmony with other parts of the face.
How is the TMD Diagnosed?
If TMD is the cause of headaches, its diagnosis is vital to the treatment.
Unfortunately there are no standard tests. A doctor starts by ruling out other other medical problems, such as ear infections, sinus infections, and facial neuralgias.
Then a healthcare provider looks for TMD by listening to the sound the jaws make when they move. Clicking and grating sounds may indicate TMD.
How to Get Rid of TMD, Thus, Headaches?
The tools and techniques to treat TMD are the focus of neuromuscular dentists, such as San Diego based Dr. Safarian.
Advanced methods, including EMG (electromyography), are used to measure electrical activity in the mouth and find the most comfortable jaw position.
Then the dentist helps the patient retain his or her jaw to achieve a natural painless alignment. At the hands of an experienced doctor, nine out of 10 patients report improvements within a month of treatment.