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Can TMJ Cause Headaches?

Unpacking the Connection

Sherman Oaks Cosmetic Dentist Eddie Siman  dentist's office

If you've been dealing with persistent headaches, it's time to consider if Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) is the underlying cause. As surprising as it may seem, TMJ and headaches often go hand-in-hand, and the condition can be especially exacerbated by the high-stress lifestyle that comes with living in a big city. Let's take a closer look at TMJ, what the condition is, its symptoms and causes, and how it affects people.

The Anatomy of TMJ

The temporomandibular joint acts as a hinge that connects the jawbone to the skull. Dysfunction affecting this joint is known as TMJ disorder. Symptoms often include jaw pain, difficulty opening and closing the mouth, and, yes, headaches.

The TMJ-Headache Connection: Why it Happens

The trigeminal nerve, a major facial nerve, innervates the temporomandibular joint and can be a source of headaches. When TMJ disorder is present, inflammation and tension can irritate this nerve, leading to referred pain in the form of headaches. Muscle strain around the jaw joint can also radiate upwards, manifesting as tension headaches.

Lifestyle Choices and TMJ

Living in larger cities can contribute to TMJ-related headaches. A fast-paced lifestyle often leads to increased stress, poor posture, and habits like teeth grinding—all significant risk factors for TMJ disorder. The noise, the higher cost of living, and the stress of commuting often leading to long hours of clenching your jaw in frustration, can worsen TMJ symptoms and, in turn, trigger headaches.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you suspect that TMJ is causing your headaches, the first step is to consult an orofacial pain specialist for a comprehensive evaluation. Diagnostic tools like MRI and CT scans are often employed to assess joint dysfunction. Treatment modalities range from pharmacotherapy using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to physical therapy and, in extreme cases, arthroscopic surgery.

For those interested in less conventional approaches, treatments like acupuncture and biofeedback have started gaining attention. While not backed by extensive scientific evidence, many LA residents claim relief from TMJ symptoms through these methods.

TMJ And Headaches

Yes, TMJ can absolutely cause headaches, and living in a high-stress environment can exacerbate these symptoms. Effective diagnosis and treatment are essential for relief. A multi-disciplinary approach involving medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle modification can offer a lasting solution to your TMJ-related headaches.

For more information or to book a consultation, feel free to reach out to our Los Angeles-based TMJ specialists at (818) 574-5009. Let's put those headaches to rest once and for all.

Dr. Eddie Siman has over 35 years of experience and is a premier TMJ and Sleep Apnea expert in Los Angeles and Orange County. Many come to Dr. Eddie Siman with severe tinnitus, migraine problems, and sleep apnea with no relief in sight. Little do these patients know that their painful symptoms are tied to the Temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Think outside the box and pay a simple visit to Dr. Siman today so you can finally find the source of all your pain and get rid of it once and for all.

14629 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

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