Headache Relief in Southpark, NC

Woman holding jaw from pain | dentist 28210If you suffer from frequent headaches, you understand how debilitating they can be.

Living with headaches affects your performance during the day and can greatly reduce your quality of life. Many patients find it hard to get through their normal daily activities because of the intensity of their migraines or headaches.

Most people have not considered talking with their dentist about their headaches, but often this pain stems from issues with the mouth. Dr. Heather Gentry has experience in helping patients with habits such as clenching and grinding (bruxism) and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), all of which can cause chronic headaches for patients in Charlotte.

We invite you to contact our Charlotte, NC dental office to learn more about chronic headache pain. Let us help get to the cause of your chronic headache pain, offer solutions to treat it, and give you back your quality of life.

What is the difference between TMJ and TMD?

TMJ and TMD are often used to mean the same thing, but they actually stand for two different things. TMJ refers to the jaw joint and is the abbreviation for temporomandibular joint. TMD refers to the dysfunction of the TMJ and stands for temporomandibular disorder.

What is TMD?

Just like other joints in your body, your jaw joint can become inflamed. When this happens, it is usually referred to as TMD, which includes any of the problems with the TMJ and surrounding muscles and tendons.

Some of the issues people experience include:

  • Being unable to open and close their mouths properly
  • Being unable to move their jaw from side to side
  • Finding it a challenge to chew properly
  • Having headaches, neck, or shoulder pain

People in Charlotte, NC who are prone to bruxism (teeth grinding or clenching) are also prone to TMD issues.

What is bruxism?

Bruxism is the term used for chronic teeth grinding or clenching. People who do it are often unaware they are doing it unless a sleep partner alerts them, their teeth begin to show wear and fractures, or they wake up with painful headaches in the morning. The jaw muscles can exert a surprising amount of pressure—even when you are sleeping—and can cause a lot of damage.

Signs of bruxism in our Charlotte, NC patients can include any of the following:

  • Facial pain
  • Earaches
  • Pain and stiffness in the jaw joint and surrounding muscles and tendons
  • Worn-down teeth
  • Broken teeth
  • Fractured fillings

Once the teeth-grinding stops, most of these symptoms will disappear. If you have had restorations to fix worn-down or broken teeth or fractured fillings, these restorations should now last longer.

Are you suffering from bruxism?

Do you wake up frequently with headaches? Have you noticed that your teeth are chipped or have fractures? Do you feel tenderness when you're biting or chewing food? Did you know that all of these symptoms could be related to bruxism?

Bruxism is a term for clenching and grinding your teeth, and this can be a difficult condition to diagnose on your own since it typically happens at night while you sleep.

There are long-term effects of bruxism on your oral health, so it’s crucial to visit a top dentist in Charlotte, NC to talk about ways to stop teeth grinding.

What is the long-term impact of teeth grinding?

While you may not realize that you're clenching or grinding your teeth, it can be taking a significant toll on your teeth and mouth. Bruxism can cause a lot of damage to teeth, including premature or excessive wear, that could, in turn, affect your bite.

Problems or pain in your jaw joint (TMJ) can also be a result of bruxism. So can headaches, neck, and shoulder pain.

How do you treat bruxism?

The good news is that Dr. Gentry offers solutions for bruxism in Charlotte, NC with a custom mouth guard. A mouth guard protects your teeth from the wear and damage that bruxism causes because it's an acrylic appliance that fits over your teeth. It can also help your muscles relax, which can eliminate bruxism and deliver relief from headaches or for your jaw joint.

If you suspect that bruxism may be a concern for you, contact Gentry Dental today for more information on how Dr. Gentry can help you.

What is an occlusal guard?

If you have been diagnosed with bruxism in Charlotte, NC, Dr. Gentry will offer solutions. Often, this includes different types of customized occlusal guards, or mouth guards, based on your individual needs. These can be worn comfortably at night while you sleep, and they help relax your muscles, which reduces bruxing throughout the night.

They’re typically made of a durable plastic, which fits over your teeth and protects them from the damage caused by bruxism. Mouth guards may also reduce the occurrence of headaches and other pain associated with teeth grinding.

She can also provide you with advice on relaxation techniques to help reduce stress. This can also help eliminate your teeth-grinding and clenching.

Does dental insurance cover the treatment of TMD in Charlotte, NC?

Three couples smiling with sunset in background | dentist 28210We are happy to file your insurance claims on your behalf. We are in-network with several insurance plans, and our treatment coordinator will contact your insurance company and get an estimate for any procedure we do before we do it, so there are no surprises.

Working with insurance can be confusing to understand, and our Charlotte, NC dental staff is available to answer your questions about your dental benefits and help you navigate and maximize your benefits.

Financial Options

We never want cost to keep you from getting the dental care you need and deserve, so we also work with a number of financing companies such as CareCredit, Lending Club, and OrthoBanc. These companies can help break your treatment cost into affordable monthly payments, and some of these companies even offer interest-free options for qualifying Charlotte, NC dental patients.

We're here to help you, and we encourage you to contact our office at (704) 764-1066 and speak with one of our helpful staff members about your treatment needs and learn more about payment and financing options. Our treatment coordinators can help put together a plan for you that will meet your dental treatment needs and goals while still fitting into your lifestyle and budget.

How can I find out more about getting rid of headache pain in Charlotte?

If you suffer from frequent headaches and have tried other treatments for relief with little to no success, we encourage you to schedule a consultation to discuss some options with Dr. Gentry for headache relief. Many patients are achieving success in reducing or eliminating their headaches with mouth guards or oral appliances, and you also deserve to reclaim your life.

Wouldn’t it be great to live headache free once again? Contact our office today to learn more about how Dr. Gentry can help you.