Your Headache Could Be TMJ: Learn How A Night Guard Can Help

Headaches can crop up for many reasons, but persistent and unexplained headaches, especially in the morning, may stem from a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. This very long name describes the very small joints on either side of your jaw that attach your lower jaw to your skull. When they’re under stress, the effects can lead to headaches, among other complications.

Under the experienced direction of Dr. Marcus Higgins, the team at Higgins Dental understands the effects that a TMJ disorder can have on your overall wellness. We offer an easy, effective solution in the form of a night guard.

If you’d like to learn more about the relationship between TMJ disorders and headaches and, more importantly, how we can resolve the issue with a night guard, read on.

TMJ 101

As we explained, your TMJs are very small hinge joints that not only attach your lower jaw to your skull, but allow a wide range of movement in your lower jaw. TMJ disorders cause pain in this tiny joint, either on one side or both, as well as headaches, facial pain, and ear pain.

While structural issues may affect your TMJ, another primary culprit behind TMJ disorders is bruxism, or teeth grinding. When you grind your teeth in your sleep, you place enormous stress on the connective tissues inside these joints, leaving them sore and tender in the morning. 

Guarding against TMJ-related pain

One of the easiest solutions for TMJ pain is the use of a night guard, which as the name implies, is a device you wear while you sleep that fits over your top or bottom teeth, preventing them from grinding together.

This guard not only protects your teeth from the grinding action, which prematurely wears them down, it also alleviates the pressure on your TMJs. This prevents facial pain and headaches from plaguing your waking hours.

Getting your guard

Getting a night guard is very easy—we offer custom manufacturing of these devices right in our office. It’s very important that your night guard fits your teeth properly, as inserting any device that isn’t custom-designed for your mouth can cause serious problems with your bite, leaving you worse off than when you started. In other words, over-the-counter night guards aren’t a good idea. To protect your teeth, make sure that a dental professional properly fits you for a night guard. 


The process to get fitted for a night guard is simple. We even offer same-day service, allowing you to find relief from TMJ pain and headaches in just one day.

It may take some time to get used to wearing a mouthguard at night, but when it’s custom-designed for your teeth and fits snugly, the adjustment period should be fairly quick and painless. The rewards of preserving your teeth and your TMJs are well worth the effort.

To determine whether a TMJ disorder is at the root of your headaches, and whether you may benefit from a night guard, give our Jacksonville, Florida office a call. Or use the convenient online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.

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