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The Relationship of TMJ (aka Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) and Headaches

TMJ, which stands for temporomandibular joint disorder, is a condition that affects the joint where the mandible attaches to the skull. This is the jawbone, and the joint is located right around the earlobe. Many people first become aware of their TMJ problem due to pain in that area of their face, but some people have headaches as their first sign of a TMJ problem.

This disorder takes many forms, from pain to lack of functionality, and can be caused by muscular stress or injury to the body. Of these, the most common type and the one most likely to cause headaches is muscular issues. These muscular problems can be caused by stress or other issues, and generally speaking the treatment requires those muscles to be relaxed.

Many people with TMJ find they are prone to headaches, which are often severe. Headaches are among the most debilitating pain conditions, because headaches make daily acts of living, like driving and reading, incredibly difficult. As a result, people seek treatment for headaches more quickly than they would for other problems.

The muscles in the jaw are connected to muscles in the head, and a problem with one can cause problems for another. This is the source of TMJ headaches. The muscles and nerves in the jaw connect to the muscles and nerves of the head, creating a situation where the entire region becomes inflamed and painful, and causing severe pain in some cases.

Symptom relief can be obtained via over the counter pain medication. This is the first step that many patients take, and medical treatment is usually only sought when the pain becomes severe enough that the over the counter medications no longer work. Some patients take stronger pain medication given by their doctor while undergoing treatment.

Treating TMJ is the only way to end the headaches permanently if TMJ is the cause of the headaches. These treatments vary based on the source of the TMJ issue, but generally speaking they include fixing the underlying muscular issue. This can include resting the jaw muscles as well as muscle relaxation, either via massage or medication.

TMJ experts are advised because there are many different potential causes for TMJ. General practitioners are less likely to be aware of the variety of causes and treatments that TMJ experts understand completely. Expert care is the most likely way to achieve fast, permanent relief for TMJ headaches and jaw pain.

TMJ disorders can cause headaches, and treating one often resolves the other. Patients with unexplained headaches are advised to see their doctor, and if they are diagnosed with TMJ, further consultation with an expert is the best way to resolve their TMJ problems and the headaches that happen as a result of the TMJ.