Malocclusion, also known as a “bad bite”, could be the primary cause of a number of problems like migraine headaches, popping sounds in the jaw joint, dizziness, and ear discomfort or itching. When teeth come together poorly — whether it’s from incorrect dental treatment, getting your mom’s dental genes, an unhealthy lifestyle or sports injuries — it may make your daily life unpleasant. The good news is, malocclusion is treatable.
Some 60 million Americans have Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJS).
For years, the thought that a migraine headache was related to the jaw joint was not given serious attention. But today the dental and medical communities are supporting the conclusion that TMJS and chronic headaches/migraines are linked.
In fact, nearly all affected individuals took numerous rides on the medical merry-go-round, seeing doctor after doctor, before they eventually came to our dental practice, often as a final, desperate plea for relief. That is because many people don’t know that their conditions are actually linked to malocclusion.
A study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine examined the existence of Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome in 24 patients referred to a neurology medical office. The objective was to determine the percentage of patients referred to a neurology clinic for headaches where TMJS is the number one reason for pain. They found that 11 of the 24 patients with headaches had TMJS. That percentage, nearly 50% is regarded as a very high percentage when compared to the 15 percent in the general population of TMJS sufferers.
As scientific opinion continues to grow regarding the relationship between headaches and TMJS, people who believe they have this problem should talk with any staff member at North Kansas City Dental. Dr. Busch and Dr. VanYperen have pursued advanced training in this treatment.
Signs or Symptoms of TMJ
- Clicking or popping while yawning
- Excessive yawning as you try to adjust your jaw
- Chronic headaches and/or migraines
- Light headedness
- Tenderness in jaw muscles
- Ear aches
- Jaw occasionally locks up when yawning
- Spasms or cramps within the jaw region
A couple other symptoms that might not seem connected to malocclusion include aching in your back, neck or shoulder. While discomfort in this part of the body may appear to be completely isolated from the mouth area, those who suffer from malocclusion are prone to tilt their heads again and again, thereby forcing the neck, shoulder, and back muscles to stabilize the head.
Having your arms or hands “go to sleep” or go numb might also indicate TMJ syndrome. This results from nerves in your arms and hands being squeezed by muscle spasms in the neck, shoulders and face.
Last, but not least, depression may haunt you as a result of enduring daily pain.
If you have any of these symptoms, mention it to any staff member. North Kansas City Dental’ solutions usually include absolutely no pills, no shots, no surgery, and no unwanted side effects. Dr. Busch and Dr. VanYperen can treat these difficulties as they are most likely due to clenching your teeth when you’re sleeping and occasionally during the day. When you clench your teeth, you use some of the most powerful muscles in your body. The high-intensity contractions of said powerful muscles grow to be painful and the forces created cause pain in bordering tissues, joints, and other muscles.
The majority of dental treatment to remedy malocclusion requires the use of a splint, or a dental device which temporarily adjusts the bite. In more serious instances, Dr. Busch and Dr. VanYperen may advise a long-term change in the bite using tooth replacement, shifting teeth with orthodontic therapy, or maybe a combination of bonding and crowns or veneers. For most individuals, the outcomes were successful and their return to a pain-free level has given these individuals another chance for a far more successful life.
If you'd like more information on TMJ or would like to set up an appointment with us, give us a call at (816) 471-2911