If you suffer with chronic headaches, migraines, popping or clicking in your jaw, jaw or teeth pain or sensitivity, you may have TMJ.
Headache therapy from your Madison dentists to alleviate years of pain and discomfort
You can live without pain. Feeling good is as important as looking good. Neuromuscular Dentistry, or as it is commonly referred to as Headache Therapy or TMJ Therapy, (also known as TMD Therapy) is dentistry that helps align the jaw and bite and can help alleviate severe headaches-including migraines, neck and shoulder pain, clicking or popping of the jaw and even tinnitus or ringing in the ears.
Dr. Brian Fick utilizes special advanced technology and techniques to determine if the jaw and bite are in alignment. If they are not, he will bring the jaw back into alignment. With proper headache therapy from Dr. Brian Fick at First Choice Dental, you can be free of pain and enjoy your life again.
Headache Therapy and Neuromuscular Dentistry uses state-of-the-art technology to alleviate headache pain.
Dr. Brian Fick has completed advanced training in Neuromuscular and Gnathologic Occlusion with the pre-eminent authority on the subject, Dr. Chan, and the team at OCCLUSION CONNECTIONS™. This unique training organization offers occlusal-oriented educational/training for dentists who seek clinical answers to dental problems as they relate to TMD, comprehensive restorative and orthodontic/orthopedic dentistry. It is these teachings and specific curriculum that Dr. Fick has found makes all difference in bringing his dentistry to a greater level of diagnostic and treatment awareness with regard to TMD/TMJ health issues.
Using headache therapy made possible by special training in neuromuscular dentistry, Dr. Brian Fick, pictured on the right, will help determine if your symptoms are caused by malocclusion and if so, what your optimal jaw position is. Our headache therapy dentists use special computerized jaw tracking instruments to record jaw movement, resting position, and path of closure. Electromyography is used to measure your jaw's muscle function in both its stressed and relaxed positions, and will also measure the jaw-to-skull relationship to see if there is a structural imbalance. Sonography is used to record jaw joint sounds to detect any abnormalities. Additionally, x-rays of the jaw may be taken to help evaluate the condition and positioning of the joint.
Typically headache therapy treatment will follow three steps.
- Relieve muscle spasm and pain. The immediate concern for neuromuscular dentists is to provide relief of your symptoms. We use a technology called ULF-TENS to help with pain relief by stimulating the body's production of endorphins, the body's natural anesthetic.
- Stabilize the bite. Often, a temporary device, known as an orthotic, is worn over the teeth, which allows us to make easy adjustments to the plastic without adjusting the teeth until the bite is stabilized. Once symptoms are relieved and the bite has been stabilized, your headache therapy dentist will move on to the next step and permanently adjust your bite to the correct position.
- Long-term management. There are a variety of ways to correct your bite in a more permanent way. Following are four of the most common of these approaches.
Four Common Ways to Alleviate Headache Pain Long-term
Once the first two steps above have been achieved, your neuromuscular dentist, or headache therapy expert, will likely take one of the following paths for long-term treatment.
- Coronoplasty/Equilibration Coronoplasty is smoothing and reshaping the enamel of the teeth to correct your bite. It is a simple procedure that does not require anesthesia and can be used when the bite is only slightly misaligned.
- Removable Overlay Partials These are permanent orthotics that usually fit over the back teeth and are designed to maintain an aligned bite.
- Reconstruction This approach involves making the teeth higher by using crowns. This permanently realigns the bite and provides structural support for the jaw.
- Orthodontics (Braces) When the teeth are healthy they may be moved to the optimal position using braces.
Could my headaches be a sign that I have TMD/TMJ?
Headaches are one of the most common symptoms of a TMD or TMJ (temporomandibular joint) problem. Tension headaches are the most common type of headache, and the TMJ headache is a tension type of headache. It is often described as a feeling of wearing a hat two sizes too small, with pain in a ring around the head, or as a migraine headache.
There are a few TMJ-related causes for tension headaches. Constant contraction of muscle fibers within a muscle, create tension, pressure or a tight feeling in the face and head, but constant tight muscle fibers prevent or reduce blood flow to that area. The body sends more blood to the areas and this can result an increase in general blood pressure to the muscles and head, sometimes referred to as vascular headaches. Clenching and grinding the teeth, which are TMJ symptoms, produce pain from the muscles in the head, which is a headache.
Unfortunately, these headaches can be so frequent or severe that they are frequently misdiagnosed and treated as migraine headaches.
The pain from muscle headaches can be blocked with medications, or nerves cut with brain surgery or muscles somewhat relaxed with muscle and psychological therapy, but the cause of the disease and damage from the bad bite, malocclusion, will persist. Side effects with medications, complications from brain surgery, and limited results with muscle or psychological therapy do not correct the source of the problem. In this case, only headache therapy provided by your neuromuscular dentist ensures the muscles are happy because they do not have to work hard positioning the teeth to a strained bite.
By putting the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) back into alignment and placing the jaw into its optimal position, the headache therapy provided by your neuromuscular dentist can alleviate most headache problems related to TMJ, muscle, nerve and joint disorders.