Headaches caused by TMJ problems: What should I do?

Do you feel frequent headache? What causes it? Is it just because of lack of sleep or skipped meal or stress? Do you really think that it is just a normal headache? Do you know that temporomandibular joint might also be a cause of your headache?

Our muscles are interlaced together, on a surface, intermediate and deep level of layers. The temporomandibular joint or TMJ is the joint located at the base of the skull in front of the ear structure. The lower jaw (mandible) is the only part of the skull that is completely detached. It is being held by the masseter muscles (“cheek muscles”) which is connected to our fan-shaped temporalis muscles on the sides of our head. These muscles of the TMJ runs along the jaw, cheeks and on the top and sides of the head, these muscles can cause pain that might cause your headache.

The pain in your TMJ might spread to other TMJ muscles along your cheeks when your muscles tense up in the jaw area. It happens when grind or clench your teeth or even when you just chew. Over working the cheek muscles causes a strain and fatigue in the temporal region. The pain from your jaw travels to other places in the skull that causes your headache or even a migraine.

You may even experience toothaches, ear aches or shoulder pain. TMJ headaches might also occur through other symptoms such as: tight facial or jaw muscles, jaw or facial pain, a “clicking” noise in the jaw, restricted movement of the jaw and changes in your bite (the way your top and bottom teeth fit together). TMJ headaches can also spread to other areas of your head and even your face and it might feel like a tension headache.

Jaw exercises can also help to relax your jaw and relieve your symptoms. To prevent TMJ headaches, try avoiding hard and chewy food, frequent jaw clenching and jaw movements like wide yawning or gum chewing.

There are permanent treatments such as a permanent change in your bite and other orthodontic work. However, these treatments are only temporary and not a permanent solution. Be cautious when considering permanent treatment for TMJ disorder, consult for a TMJ Specialist that might help you in figuring out the origin of your TMJ pain.