I’ve been to my doctor recently for headaches and pain to my face. It’s usually in my cheeks. I think my doctor has just given up because he told me to visit my dentist. I don’t want to waste money. Is this something you’d typically see a dentist about?
So, when you refer to face pain in your cheeks, are you talking specifically around the area of the side of your jaw where it opens and closes? If so, that could mean you are having TMJ problems and it would make total sense to see a dentist in that case. Persistent headaches can also be a symptom of TMJ Disorder.
I don’t think your doctor has given up as much as trying to determine if this is actually the problem instead of other medical problems. If he’s eliminated most of the common reasons for what is happening to you, the next steps would be very expensive neurological nerve exams and MRIs. He’s likely reaching for something less expensive to test.
Finding a TMJ Dentist
You want to find a dentist who is sort of a TMJ Specialist. While that isn’t a recognized specialty, there are dentists who have invested a great deal of time studying the causes and treatments of TMJ Disorder. They’ll be more qualified to help you and will be more likely to find solutions using the least invasive treatments available.
One thing I’d do is look for a dentist who specifically considers himself a TMJ Dentist or TMJ Specialist. They’ll often list they treat TMJ on their website (as Dr. Hadgis does), so you’d start by doing an internet search for those terms. It should pull up some dentists in your area.
Next, you’ll want to ask them where they did their TMJ Training. It should be a post-graduate school, not a general dental school. Three very reputable ones are:
- The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies (LVI)
- The Pankey Institute
- The Dawson Academy
There are others, but these are some of the top TMJ institutes in the country.
This blog is brought to you by Grosse Pointe Woods Dentist Dr. Theodore Hadgis.