Frequent, painful headaches are common, yet they can be frustrating to deal with, especially when your typical headache medicine doesn’t seem to be doing the trick. Finding the right headache treatment can be challenging as well due to the complexity of headaches and their wide-reaching effects. A key aspect of finding the best headache treatment is to assess your individual circumstance. If you struggle with headaches or find that your headache medicine isn’t working, Dr. Nicol Cook, a neuromuscular dentist in Poway, has some answers for you.
First, let’s take a quick look at what a neuromuscular dentist is and why this term is significant for headache sufferers.
Did you see how we just slipped that mostly unknown, strange word in there? Neuromuscular sounds like a complicated word, but it simply means a focus on nerves and muscles. Pair that with dentistry, and you get a dentist that treats the nerves and muscles of the face, mouth, head, and neck. Now we’re talking!
Now, let’s discuss the relationship between headaches and dentistry.
Headaches can be frequent and debilitating, occurring upon waking up, or any time during the day. While pain from an occasional headache should subside by taking over-the-counter pain relievers, it often doesn’t for those that could be suffering from an underlying condition.
- Do you have frequent headaches?
- Do your headaches feel severe or debilitating?
- Do your headaches prevent you from living life to the fullest?
- Do you miss out on important life events because of your headaches?
- Has your doctor been unable to cure your headaches?
- Does your typical headache medicine not work anymore?
If you answered yes to any one of these questions, then you are at the right place! Headaches that are frequent, debilitating, seemingly incurable, and that keep you from living your life, actually could be caused by an underlying condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder. (There we go with those unfamiliar words again)! You may have heard this disorder referred to as TMJ disorder, a more common name. TMJ disorder refers to an imbalance of the jaw joints, which often leads to inflammation, decreased blood supply, and tenderness or pain in the jaw joints.
What is significant about TMJ disorder is its location in the head. Running through this joint is one of the most prominent nerves in the entire body – the trigeminal nerve. This nerve is responsible for transmitting sensory information to the face, including the skin, mucous membranes, and sinuses. Also, it is responsible for the movement of the jaw muscles.
It is no wonder that this nerve can be responsible for such frequently debilitating headaches. If you are taking medication for your headaches, the pain probably comes right back after a few hours, right? That’s because the underlying problem, your jaw joints, isn’t being addressed. The inflammation, irritation, and imbalance are still occurring, all the while your headaches keep resurfacing.
When it comes to treating headaches related to TMJ disorder, most primary care physicians simply aren’t trained in this area to know how to identify a case of TMJ properly. Therefore, they simply send the patient on with a prescription, only pacifying the issue. However, the most qualified type of medical professional to diagnose and treat TMJ disorder is a neuromuscular dentist such as Dr. Cook in Poway.
She has received extensive training from the Las Vegas Institute, a world-renowned post-graduate learning institution that focuses on neuromuscular dentistry, which makes her an excellent choice for treating your headaches. So, if you experience frequent headaches in Poway, and would like to get some answers, and treatment that works, we invite you to please call (858) 673-0141 or contact Smiles by Dr. Cook today. We welcome patients of Poway and Rancho Bernardo, California.