Can Jaw Joint Pain Cause Headaches?

Jaw joint pain is indicative of temporomandibular joint disorder. The temporomandibular joint is the connecting structure between the jaw and the skull. People experience TMJ disorder as a result of injury or underdevelopment of the jaw, also known as malocclusion or bad bite. Malocclusion signifies a lack of space in the mouth which leads to dental crowding and additional strain on the structures supporting the jaw. One of the effects jaw joint pain has on the body is headaches.

How Joint Pain Transfers to Headaches

TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder, is centered around the jaw joint, which is located directly in front of the ears. This central location on the head allows the strain the joint is bearing to affect the surrounding areas. An inflamed TMJ can affect a person’s:

  • Hearing – including hissing, buzzing or ringing in the ears
  • Neck – including a lack of mobility, stiffness, sore muscles, and shoulder and backaches
  • Eyes – including pain behind the eyes, bloodshot eyes, and light sensitivity
  • Jaw – including deviation to one side, pain while chewing, clenching or grinding the teeth, and clicking and popping sounds
  • Throat – including difficulty swallowing, sore throat, and frequent coughing with the sensation of something being caught in the throat
  • Head – including headaches, migraines, hair and scalp sensitivity, and shooting pains up the back of the head

One of the most predominant areas affected by jaw joint pain from TMJ is headaches. Because of the TMJ’s location and the interconnectedness of nerves in the area, dysfunction of this joint can present as headaches or even migraines.

Treating TMD Headaches

TMD can be difficult to diagnose due to its numerous presentations and various symptoms. If you have been diagnosed as suffering from TMD, chances are you will experience regular headaches. While over-the-counter or prescription pain killers can effectively mitigate pain in the short term, they don’t treat the underlying cause of your headaches. Instead, the best way to treat TMD headaches is to consult with a doctor specializing in TMD treatment. Dr. Wallace of Palmetto Smiles of Beaufort is a physiologic dentist with concentrations in TMD, sleep apnea, and restorative dentistry. Dr. Wallace focuses TMD headache treatment on getting to the root cause of the headaches, either through restorative dentistry, neuromuscular dentistry, and facial growth orthodontics.

Headache Relief at Palmetto Smiles of Beaufort

For solution-focused TMD headache treatment, call Dr. Wallace’s office at (843) 410-0345 or fill out a form on our contact page. Our team of TMD experts offers consultations, treatment plans, and individualized procedures for each of our patient’s exact needs.

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