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An incorrect bite might be responsible for your TMJ pain. Contact us today to discuss a solution.

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Craniofacial Pain

TMD & TMJ Treatment Ballwin, MO

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and cannot understand why please call us. We are here to help resolve these unexplained issues. Request An Appointment

Craniofacial pain is the broad term used to encompass all pain disorders of the head and face, including Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD or TMJ). Until recently the following symptoms appeared unrelated to the craniofacial area. They were frequently undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as just a migraine, tension headache, stress, etc. When conventional treatment for these types of disorders proved unsuccessful, patients and their concerns were frequently ignored and put aside.

Often these unexplained, undiagnosed and untreated symptoms are related to craniofacial pain which includes Temporomandibular Disorders. Doctors with proper training and diagnostic skills, are able to pinpoint the cause of these symptoms and provide relief.

Many times headaches and even migraines have a craniofacial pain component, or are completely craniofacial pain related. We have treated numerous patients who thought they had a migraine type headache, who actually had a muscular (or tension type) headache, usually due to clenching of their teeth. We hope that as you review the following information you will be able to find answers to some the symptoms you are experiencing and will be able to trust us to help you find the solution that you have needed for so long.

Craniofacial Pain Signs and Symptoms

Individuals experiencing craniofacial pain may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and cannot understand why please call us. We are here to help resolve these unexplained issues.

Causes of Craniofacial Pain

Craniofacial pain can be caused by many different factors. Here are some further explained:

  1. Trauma
    Motor vehicle accidents often involve whiplash or a blow to the head and neck and can be a leading cause of trauma. Also a fall, fight or a sports injury can cause severe pain to the head and neck area. Head injuries often will damage the soft tissues of the neck, back and jaw. The powerful motion of the head and neck being thrown from a stable state backwards and forwards often causes the mouth to be forced open. Common complaints after a whiplash injury are neck pain and stiffness, difficulty in turning the head, headaches and TMJ pain.
  2. Stress
    Stress can affect our body in many different ways. When an individual is experiencing chronic stress it can produce physiological changes which can then lead to harmful effects including muscle tightness and pain. Although not necessarily the original factor, stress can intensify the craniofacial pain problems. Muscles will tighten or clenching and grinding of the teeth occur which causes unexpected pressure forced again the TMJ disc and if the ligaments are weak or the patient has ligament laxity, dislocation of the disc may occur.
  3. Bruxism
    Bruxism is the condition in which you grind or clench your teeth. It most commonly happens during sleep but can also occur, unconsciously, when you are awake. Bruxism is often associated with airway impairment, including sleep apnea. In some cases the pressure to the jaw from constant grinding of the teeth may be severe enough to lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and other problems.
  4. Malocclusion
    Malocclusion happens when mismatched teeth and the jaw cause a person to have a bad bite. It can also happen if there are missing or removed teeth without replacement or restoration. This can result in a crooked, crowded or protruding teeth and may even lead to gum disease, severe headaches, and sleep disorders. The failure of the teeth to bite together properly results in incorrect jaw function. Estimates show that roughly two out of three adult Americans are born with some degree of malocclusion.
  5. Poor Posture
    Poor posture, particularly head and neck posture, will result in muscle overactivity, which can lead to headaches, neck pain and jaw pain. The body will work optimally when all of the joints, bones, and muscles are correctly aligned. Sitting in a chair all day, slouching, re`trains your body to hold itself in an incorrect position. Poor posture has a domino effect, as your misaligned spine will cause your lower jaw to protrude forward and create a bad teeth alignment which is one of the leading causes of TMJ disorders.
  6. Opening the jaw too wide
    Every part of the body has limitations. Including the temporomandibular joints. If your mouth is forced wide open or you open wide for a long period of time ligaments may be torn and swelling and bruising will develop inside the joint. Dislocation may also occur leading to jaw joint sounds and extreme discomfort.
  7. Diseases
    Various diseases can cause craniofacial problems. Immune disorders such as psoriatic arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis can produce inflammation in the temporomandibular joints. Viral infections like mumps or measles can cause damage to the anatomical surface of the joint leading to the joint not working properly.

Craniofacial Diagnosis and Treatment

It is important that you have a detailed diagnostic study and testing performed to determine the accurate source of any craniofacial pain problem you may have. With your medical and dental history as well as an examination we will be able to help you find solutions and relief of the pain you are experiencing.

Because a person has been experiencing pain for so long often times they believe that a certain pain is just a way of life. But it doesn’t have to be! For patients with craniofacial pain or temporomandibular disorders there are non-invasive approaches for relieving the pain. We can help with pinpointing the area of pain that needs relief. We keep up to date with state of the art information and procedures to help relieve your pain with ease and comfort.