TMJ and Headache Therapy

Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, South Carolina

Chronic, debilitating headaches are one of the most common symptoms of TMD/TMJ. “TMD” stands for Temporo-Mandibular Dysfunction and “TMJ” stands for Temporo-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction.  To put it simply, those terms refer to the jaw joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments of your jaws. Also related is cervical spine (neck) dysfunction.  Unfortunately, these headaches are often confused with migraines, prompting patients to seek relief through common pain medications.

While certain medications can be somewhat effective at treating the symptoms of TMD, they ultimately fail to address the root cause of these symptoms. Dr. Gross prefers to avoid drugs/medications when possible and treat the source of your problem, not the symptoms.  In order to have your TMD accurately diagnosed and treated, you need to see a neuromuscular dentist. Hilton Head/Bluffton neuromuscular dentist Dr. Timothy Gross has decades of experience providing patients with permanent relief from TMD/TMJ.

TMJ and Headache Treatment Options

The cause, extent, and symptoms of your TMJ will play a determining role in the most ideal treatment option. Dr. Gross works with each patient on a personal basis. With the help of diagnostic tools such as the K7 system and TENS Unit, he will customize a treatment plan that meets your unique needs.

TMJ and headache therapy often involves:

  • Removable oral appliances – Mouthguards and oral splints worn while sleeping can help prevent tooth grinding (a common cause of TMJ) while also restoring proper alignment to your jaw.
  • Orthodontics –  TMD can often be alleviated by correcting your misaligned bite with orthodontic treatment.
  • Bite reconstructionDental crowns and bridgesdental implants, and other restorative options can help produce a straighter, more balanced bite, lessening the tension on jaw joint and muscles.

The goal of short-term TMJ headache therapy is to relieve your pain, while the goal of long-term treatment is to fully restore proper alignment to your jaw and bite. Patients often start with short-term therapy – such as an oral appliance – for quick relief from their symptoms, and then progress to a bite reconstruction or orthodontic treatment to permanently correct their TMD.

If you are suffering from chronic headaches or any of the other symptoms of TMD/TMJ, please contact Dr. Timothy Gross today to schedule a neuromuscular dentistry evaluation. We serve patients in the Hilton Head Island and Bluffton areas of South Carolina.