Headaches are primarily a disorder of the trigeminal nerves and tissues they innervate. The evidence is becoming increasingly stronger that the majority of headache patients also have symptoms of temporo-mandibular disorders and the treatment of these disorders is essential to management and relief of headaches. Patients wishing to avoid migraines and extensive drug regimens should turn to someone trained in orofacial pain.
- Sports injury
- Bruxism, teeth clenching/grinding
- Systemic diseases
- Neuromuscular imbalances
- Inflammation of the joint
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Osteoarthritis (degenerative)
- Developmental abnormalities
Another common cause involves displacement or dislocation of the disk that is located between the jawbone and the socket. The disk can also develop a hole or perforation, which can produce a grating sound. Disorders can occur if:
- The disk erodes or moves out of its proper alignment
- The joint’s cartilage is damaged by arthritis
- The joint is damaged by a blow or other impact
- The muscles that stabilize the joint become fatigued from overworked, which can happen if you continuously clench or grind your teeth
Temporo-Mandibular Joint Disorder and Orofacial Pain
The management of chronic headaches and temporomandibular disorders (TMD) is a complex problem in medicine. In order to effectively manage TMD and orofacial pain disorders, the patient must be correctly diagnosed so that the correct treatment can be selected.
Causes of TMJ Disorder/Syndrome
It is important to first explain that a “syndrome” is simply a collection of the symptoms and a “disorder” is the actual condition.
Research has shown that many factors may lead to this disorder – TMJ dysfunction (TMD). It can occur by itself or be a part of a more complex problem.
Statistics indicate that the vast majority of TMJ disorders are caused by trauma, such as in an automobile accident.
Signs and Symptoms of TMJ
Signs and symptoms vary and can be very complex to identify. People generally experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Headaches are primarily a disorder of the trigeminal nerves and tissues they innervate. The evidence is becoming increasingly stronger that the majority of headache patients also have symptoms of temporo-mandibular disorders and the treatment of these disorders is essential to management and relief of headaches.
Jaw, face and/or neck pain are common indicators of inflammation of the TMJ. This can cause significant pain around the TM joint and can also spread to places outside the TMJ area.