Jaw Pain & Migraines
We can offer a diagnosis and treatment to relieve painful jaw discomfort.
Your temporomandibular joint connects your jaw to the bones in front of each ear, the temporal bones of your skull. It’s common that tension in this area from grinding or excessive movement can cause jaw pain and migraines. Our team can easily recognize the causes of this discomfort and offer the right guidance to avoid frequent, long-term symptoms.
What are our patients saying?
Learn more about jaw pain.
TMJ is an acronym for the temporomandibular joint, which is a hinge that connects your jaw to the bones in front of each ear – the temporal bones of your skull. This is where temporomandibular disorder (TMD) can occur and result in discomfort, dysfunction, and pain in the joints and muscles that make up the jaw and control its movement. For some substantial long-term symptoms may develop and cause more than just infrequent irritation.
We will listen to and feel your jaw while you open and close your mouth, observe the motion range of your jaw, and press on areas of your jaw to identify spots of discomfort or pain. If we suspect any problems, an X-ray can help reveal potential issues with joint discs, and additional equipment can detect muscular abnormalities and diagnose muscles that are becoming strained. We use EMG (electromyography) readings to determine unstable positioning and also to show us where your jaw is going to be most comfortable.
We may first try to offer more conservative treatments for your pain or discomfort. Self-care or at-home practices such as eating soft foods, avoiding extreme jaw movements, learning relaxing and stress-reducing techniques, applying ice packs, and practicing gentle jaw stretching and exercises will be some of the first treatment options we encourage.
Short-term use of over-the-counter pain medications or anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen is something we might recommend to provide temporary assistance from jaw discomfort.
The most recommended option for TMD treatment is an oral appliance called an orthotic or stabilization splint. This is a plastic guard that fits over the lower teeth and balances your bite. One of the main causes of jaw pain is an imbalanced bite, this is also the easiest to correct. Once your bite is balanced, joint pressure is equalized and the jaw feels more relaxed. Dr. Lawlor has completed advanced training on Orthotics and TMJ therapy and would be happy to schedule a consultation.