If you have persistent headaches, then the problem might be located in your smile. Jaw joint tension often causes TMJ disorder, which in turns leads to headaches and jaw pain. In today’s blog, we’re looking at the causes of this disorder and discussing when our Riverside, MO, patients should seek a TMJ specialist.

The Causes of TMD

How does an issue like TMD even occur? Well, TMJ dysfunction happens when the temporomandibular joints undergo excessive strain. The strain could be the result of injury to the face or jaw, missing teeth, malocclusion, misalignment, bruxism (teeth grinding), or stress. As the joints become strained, this impacts the ability to open and close the mouth. Patients begin to experience a number of uncomfortable symptoms, including but not limited to persistent headaches. Treating this issue often involves comfortable and non-invasive solutions, so when you begin to experience the symptoms of TMD, please talk to our team right away.

When to See Your TMJ Specialist

We discussed headaches briefly, but other signs of trouble may include a popping or clicking sensation in the jaw. Patients may also report aches in the neck, shoulders, face, or jaw. If the patient also grinds his or her teeth, then tooth sensitivity and toothaches could arise as well. Don’t ignore any sudden pain in your head, face or jaw. Talk to your Riverside dentist about a diagnosis and possible treatment options. Adjusting the tension in the jaw could be accomplished with orthodontics, a custom restoration, or possible an oral appliance. The oral appliance looks like a mouthguard and is worn as the patient sleeps. The device repositions the jaw to ease tension. If you also grind your teeth, then the device helps prevent further damage to the teeth.

The Bruxism Connection

These two very different jaw joint issues are often connected. When a patient has untreated TMJ disorder, the pressure could lead to teeth grinding or jaw clenching on a regular basis. Likewise, grinding your teeth places pressure on the temporomandibular joints, causing an increased risk of TMJ disorder. Fortunately, we have options to treat these issues and restore the health of your smile. If you have any questions about treating these issues, or if you think you may benefit from seeing a TMJ specialist, then contact our team today.


At Bailey Dental Care, we want to address your jaw joint problems and restore your smile’s health and comfort. Don’t let headaches and other symptoms have a negative impact on your overall quality of life, talk to your dentist today. To learn more about our preventive treatment options, please schedule a consultation, call Bailey Dental Care in Riverside, MO, today at (816) 452-9700.