Does TMJ cause my Headaches? Five Symptoms to Consider

We all get headaches sometimes, and they’re usually nothing to worry about.

But do you have migraines that just keep coming back? Are your headaches not responding to usual treatments or pain relief methods?

If so, then your pain may be caused by a problem with your TMJ or temporomandibular joint.

In this guide, we’re talking about what this is and how you can treat it effectively.

Let’s get into it.

What is TMJ?

TMJ is caused by a dysfunction in the joint which connects your jawbone to your skull.

Many symptoms come with this condition, making it very difficult to identify that this is the cause of your headaches or pain.

Some of the most common symptoms include things like;

  • Pain or tenderness in the jaw, face, neck, or temples
  • Limited ability to open the mouth or move the jaw
  • A clicking or popping sound when opening the mouth
  • A locking or stuck jaw that makes it difficult to close the mouth
  • Ear pain or ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Tension or soreness in the jaw, face, neck, or shoulders
  • Toothaches or tooth sensitivity
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Neck pain or stiffness.

Yeah, that’s a lot. And again, it’s easy to think these symptoms come from another condition or issue.

To help you get a little clearer on what the TMJ symptoms are, let’s explore these in a little more detail with five TMJ signs to look out for.

#1 – Pain or tenderness

Pain is the primary sign of TMJ and can present itself in several ways. You might feel pain or tenderness in your jaw, face, or ear along with your headaches. This is usually a dull ache rather than a stabbing pain, and it tends to come in waves rather than stay constant.

#2 – Headaches after chewing

Chewing involves moving the muscles and joints in your jaw and can be a significant trigger of TMJ. Think carefully about when your headaches start. Do they come on after meals or when you eat chewy foods?

Changes to your diet can help to relieve some of the pain caused by TMJ.

#3 – Grinding your teeth

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is often associated with TMJ. If you catch yourself clenching your jaw or your teeth appear to wear down, you may suffer from bruxism.

Not everyone knows if they grind their teeth, as some people do during their sleep. If you notice signs of bruxism, then your head pain could result from TMJ.

#4 – Headache treatments aren’t working

Headaches have over two hundred causes, so it’s important that you rule out other possibilities. Most headaches will respond to common, over-the-counter medications, but migraines caused by TMJ don’t always respond to these treatments.

If it feels like nothing you do relieves your head pain, you should determine that a more physical ailment, like TMJ, is the cause.

#5 – Other symptoms (lockjaw, difficulty chewing, etc.)

Aside from headaches and jaw pain, TMJ has several other telltale signs. If you find your jaw locking up, hear a pop while chewing, or find it painful to eat or talk, then there is a strong possibility that you are dealing with TMJ.

Final Thoughts…What’s the treatment for TMJ

So, what now?

If you think you might be suffering from headaches caused by TMJ, don’t panic: we’re here to help.

Here at Palencia Dental, Dr. Kinsey has led the way in treating TMJ. We won’t just help you relieve your symptoms but will also work with you to identify the underlying cause of your pain so we can offer a more comprehensive treatment.

Contact us today to book your appointment. Everyone deserves to live a life free of pain. Let us help you make that a reality.