Headaches are the most common TMJ symptom arising from a neuromuscular bite imbalance. TMJ headaches are a complex phenomenon, partly because TMJ is itself a complex condition. Headaches are a nonspecific symptom, and they’re related to many different conditions, and, unfortunately, TMJ headaches are often misdiagnosed as being related to other conditions.
If you have persistent headaches that have not responded to the treatment your doctor recommends, they may be due to TMJ. Please call (361) 851-8274 or email Corpus Christi TMJ dentist Dr. Don Lowrance today for an appointment.
Muscular Pain and TMJ Headaches
TMJ headaches are a type of tension headache that results from the strain put on the muscles and nerves in the head which are linked to the muscles of the TMJ. Think of two people on a trampoline. As one jumps up and down, the other person has to work to stay standing up because the trampoline is moving beneath their feet as a result of their friend jumping. As the TMJ torques and strains to get into a neuromuscularly balanced position, the surrounding muscles have to compensate, and the constant tightened state of these muscles creates a painful tension headache.
Nerve Pain and TMJ Headaches
Another potential cause of TMJ headaches is pinched nerves. The trigeminal nerve sends messages from your face to your brain, essentially registering input from your brows, eyes, cheeks, and jaws. This nerve runs right by the temporomandibular joint, and several of its branches snake out in the area, where they can be pinched or pressured by bone, cartilage, or muscles. This can result in your body reporting jaw pain or headaches.
TMJ Headaches and Migraines
Stressed-out muscles in the head and face also reduce the blood flow in the area, and the body tries to compensate by sending more blood to the muscles, which can increase the blood pressure in the local blood vessels, causing a migraine-like vascular TMJ headache.
TMJ headaches can seem so similar to migraine headaches in intensity and frequency that they are frequently misdiagnosed as migraines. This is unfortunate because, while you can take drugs to ease the pain of a headache, without proper TMJ treatment to correct the bite, TMJ headaches will just keep coming.
And for people who are true migraine sufferers, TMJ can lead to adverse stimuli, such as restricted blood flow, muscle tension, and pinched nerves, that can act as migraine triggers. Even true migraine sufferers can experience relief with TMJ treatment.
If you think that you’ve been suffering from TMJ headaches, contact Corpus Christi TMJ dentist, Dr. Don Lowrance. Call (361) 851-8274 and schedule your TMJ headache consultation today.