Are your Chronic Headaches from Holiday Stress?

holiday stress

holiday stressServing patients of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greeneville TN

Nothing can be worse than dealing with chronic headaches during the holiday season. Whether you’re stressed from visiting in-laws, running into your ex, or overwhelmed with your never-ending holiday to-do list, a chronic headache can disrupt daily activities. Our Greeneville dentists that treat chronic headaches at Tusculum Dental Care share on the blog today that your chronic headaches from holiday stress could be a symptom of a solvable underlying condition called temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ. Find out the relation between stress and TMJ below and possible treatments to reduce or eliminate your chronic headaches.

What is temporomandibular joint disorder?

The temporomandibular joint disorder is a condition where the small jaw joint that connects your jaw to your skull malfunctions or surrounding nerves become inflamed. Although many conditions can cause TMJ disorders, it could also be stress-related. Our Jonesborough TMJ dentists explain that when your stress levels increase, and it’s not relieved through exercise or calming activities, your body naturally finds other ways to release it. Most often, people clench their jaws and grind their teeth while sleeping without knowing about it; a condition called bruxism. The result is intense pressure buildup between the teeth and jaws, adding strain to the nerves and jaw joint.

How does TMJ order lead to headaches?

The temporomandibular joint is near the trigeminal nerve in your head. The trigeminal nerve transmits sensory information to your brain more than other neural pathways, including your spinal cord. As TMJ develops, it could compress or aggravate the surrounding musculatures and nerves, resulting in a TMJ headache. Greeneville dentists that treat TMJ explain that the trigeminal nerve can send pain impulses to your brain, neck, shoulders, mouth, and back. In addition, the orofacial system strain could also lead to chronic headaches.

What can I do to treat symptoms at home?

Patients with mild TMJ cases or who notice additional TMJ symptoms may find relief from using a hot compress or ice pack on the jaw or head for ten minutes. Also, over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can reduce your headache’s intensity in the short term. However, our dentists that treat chronic headaches in Greeneville express concern for those covering up the underlying condition with medications. Although medication provides temporary relief, the situation will cause the headaches to return until qualified medical professionals address the underlying problems. Therefore, we recommend you seek treatment when you notice debilitating or consistent headaches that don’t get better with medications.

How can a dentist treat chronic headaches?

Our experienced neuromuscular dentists in Erwin specialize in bite and jaw alignment often associated with TMJ patients. Our dentists can identify TMJ cases and determine the patient’s optimum oral rest posture through a testing series involving leading-edge technology and computer programs that track jaw movement, function, and sounds. Once you receive a TMJ diagnosis, our dentists will generate a custom treatment plan to address the specific concerns causing you pain.

Chronic Headache Relief in Greeneville, Jonesborough, and Erwin, Tennessee

Seasonal schedules and demands can increase your stress level and result in adverse health consequences. This holiday season, schedule personal time every day to help you unwind and de-stress or start a new exercise regimen to reduce your body’s stress levels. Suppose chronic headaches continue, even though you use over-the-counter pain medication and try to de-stress regularly. In that case, it may be time to seek medical advice for treating your condition. Feel free to contact our Greeneville TMJ dentists at Tusculum Dental Care with questions about TMJ disorder by calling (423) 639-7575 or contact us online to schedule an appointment to stop your chronic headaches and reclaim your pain-free life.