TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) disorders and frequent headaches often go hand-in-hand. Moderate head pain that stems from TMJ disorders is just another source of headache, but can significantly impact a person’s lifestyle. The treatments for TMJ disorders can vary from other kinds of treatments for different headaches. So, it’s important to distinguish which headaches are a result of TMJ and which occur from something entirely different.
What are TMJ Disorders?
A TMJ disorder is a condition that causes a considerable amount of pain to the temporomandibular joint, limits the function of the jaw, and sometimes makes the joints ‘click’. It typically falls into one of two categories: problems with the surrounding muscles of the joint, or problems with the actual joint itself. Some prime examples of problems with the joints include inflammation, arthritis, and TMJ dislocation. Certain issues with muscles may include muscle pain, muscle spasms, or inflammation. Usually in either case, headaches are a frequent symptom for all TMJ disorders.
Other Key Symptoms of TMJ
While frequent headaches often accompany TMJ, they’re not the only symptoms. If you’re experiencing frequent headaches along with any of the following key symptoms, you may be suffering from a TMJ disorder:
? Popping or clicking when opening or closing your mouth
Difficulty or tender pain when biting or chewing
General pain in the face
Frequent jaw pain
Earaches in one or both ears
Difficulty opening or closing your mouth
Pay attention to any of these symptoms if you’re experiencing them often in addition to getting chronic headaches. In fact, it will help if you write your symptoms down and organize them so you can share them with your doctor. This will give your doctor a much better understanding of your condition and to determine if you are indeed suffering from a TMJ disorder.
How to Treat a TMJ Disorder
Quite often, TMJ issues resolve themselves on their own without the need for any professional treatment. However, if the symptoms are severe enough then treatment is necessary. Today, there are a number of various treatments available in addressing TMJ disorders. Using an anti-inflammatory non-steroidal medication such as Ibuprofen is often all that’s necessary to relieve the symptoms of TMJ. Ibuprofen also helps in treating other aches and pains linked to TMJ disorders as well. In more severe cases, your doctor may suggest using an appliance,certain prescription medications or even muscle or joint injections. For some people, they need to see a specialist in order to diagnose the underlying culprit of their TMJ disorder.