TMJ & Headaches

Did you know: A “bad bite” can be and often is the cause of your headaches?

There is a strong connection between having headaches (tension and migraines) and having problems with your jaw joints and/or dental bite. How you use or abuse your teeth and jaws (teeth grinding and jaw bracing) has a profound effect not only on the jaw joints but also can cause headaches and face/jaw/neck pain.

Many people endure years of agonizing headaches or jaw problems, using medications and other ineffective methods (which fail to deal with the real problem) – and then realize that they come from having an unstable bite, tired muscles, injured joint, or from a posture problem.

There is a better way…

Dr. Ostler is experienced with and uses modern techniques and TMJ Treatment measures to both diagnose and treat jaw and face pain, bite problems, and painful headaches that accompany them. Often a multi-disciplinary problem, Dr. Ostler knows when and how to utilize other health professional to assure the best outcome possible.

Ready to Learn More?

Schedule a consult with Dr. Lee Ostler

A Note Straight From the Patient Seat...

From time to time our patients send in little notes, cards, thank yous and such regarding the dental work / service that we've done for them.

Julie Tarara 09-28-10

Thank you for working with me to diagnose and treat my long-standing issue with TMJ/TMD. Your holistic approach to what others consider solely a “jaw issue” was refreshing. I appreciate that perspective by a practitioner.


For many years I had been aware of jaw clenching at night and had worn a night splint across my top teeth. Regularly, I would wake up with headaches, and spend days with severe headaches that primary care physicians an dentists attribute to “sinus-allergies” or to the catch-all category “stress,” regardless of season, job, school, housing, diet or family situation. Over the years, I pursued allergy testing, biofeedback training, over-the-counter remedies, and myriad “lifestyle adjustments” along those lines. I undoubtedly took more ibuprofen than one would recommend. None of my symptoms was relieved except temporarily. Having worked with practitioners who tend to consider body parts and symptoms in isolation, I would never have connected headaches, or neck and shoulder pain to jaw clenching, or to think of the system as connected to my posture, from feet up.


I enjoyed learning from you a more structural-functional outlook, both from top-down and from bottom-up. After only a few months of wearing a TMJ dental appliance, I am extremely pleased with how well my symptoms have resolved, especially the daily, very troublesome headaches. Over the past three months or so, I have taken ibuprofen for a headache only twice; previously, my use of NSAIDs was nearly daily. The cause-effect immediacy is impressive: if I do not wear the appliance for enough hours of the day, I feel oncoming “sinus” or occipital headaches. With more attentiveness, I suffer barely any symptoms. By your suggestion, I also have followed up with massage therapy to improve my overall muscular-skeletal alignment. It is difficult to convey adequately how impressed I am with the extent to which my symptoms have been resolved, and how impressed I have been with your comprehensive, integrated approach to addressing TMD/TMJ. The time and expense involved to identify and resolve this problem have been absolutely worthwhile investments in my personal health. I hope that my comments will be useful to other patients who may suffer similar symptoms and are seeking true resolution to TMJ/TMD and its associated causes.

The Center for Dental Health
1518 Jadwin Avenue
Richland, WA 99354

(509) 946-6566

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