TMJ Treatment Specialist

William  D. Stratford, MD -  - Headache Specialist

Your Migraine Care

William D. Stratford, MD

Headache Specialist & Board-Certified Psychiatrist located in Missoula, MT

Most patients expect temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders to cause jaw pain, but they usually aren’t prepared to also suffer from chronic headaches and migraines. When TMJ causes pain and headaches, the experts at Your Migraine Care can help with an SPG block that targets the source of your pain. To learn more about this quick, effective, and minimally invasive procedure, call one of the offices in Missoula, Montana, to schedule an appointment.

TMJ Treatment

What is TMJ?

Your temporomandibular joints (TMJs) are located on both sides of your face, where they connect your lower jaw to your skull. These joints act like a hinge that opens and closes your mouth, while also moving in a sliding motion that moves your jaw from side to side.

TMJ disorders include a group of problems that affect the muscles, nerves, bone, cartilage, and discs that form the joint.

You may develop a TMJ disorder from problems such as:

  • Misaligned jaw
  • Displaced discs
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Injury or trauma
  • Pressure from teeth grinding

In some cases, the cause of TMJ disorder can’t be determined.

What symptoms develop due to TMJ disorders?

Pain is the most common symptom of TMJ disorders. You may experience pain in your face, jaw, neck, and around your ear. Your pain may occur when you chew or speak.

TMJ problems frequently cause headaches. Migraines and chronic headaches are triggered by jaw problems because your jaw and head share common nerves.

TMJ disorders often cause a clicking sound when you open and close your mouth. In severe cases, your jaw may become locked, making it hard or impossible to open your mouth.

How do you treat TMJ disorders?

Treating the underlying cause of TMJ generally requires mouthguards, physical therapy, and in severe cases, surgery. However, comprehensive treatment for chronic TMJ requires a team approach that includes a headache pain specialist like the team at Your Migraine Care.

TMJ pain and TMJ-related headaches often need more than an over-the-counter pain reliever. The team at Your Migraine Care specializes in SphenoCath® treatment that delivers effective pain relief for TMJ dysfunction.

The SphenoCath is a slender catheter that your doctor easily inserts through a nostril then guides it into your upper nasal passageway until it’s next to the sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG). The SPG is a cluster of nerves that release a biochemical called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP).

CGRP transmits the pain signals caused by TMJ and TMJ-based headaches. Using the SphenoCath, your doctor delivers medication that penetrates the SPG and blocks the release of CGRP. As a result, your pain is significantly diminished.

To learn if you’re a good candidate for TMJ treatment using an SPG block, call Your Migraine Care to schedule an appointment.