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What To Do When You Experience a TMJ Headache or Migraine

September 1, 2021

Have you ever experienced a persistent headache, and you never realized that your jaw could be the cause? Yes, when you have a severe headache, you might not blame your jaw but, the TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, could be the main reason. In such circumstances, all you need to do is go for TMJ therapy or consult a TMJ specialist at Arizona Smile Design. 

What is TMJ?

The TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint, which is the hinge that connects your jaw to the skull. This helps you carry out functions like talk, laugh, and chew, enabling the jaw to move up and down. It is different from the other joints due to the hinge and sliding motions; if there is a problem with the joint, it can cause various symptoms, including headaches that may require TMJ treatment. 

Do you know what causes TMJ headache/migraine?

There are many causes of TMD; according to our TMJ specialist Dr. Mueller at Arizona Smile Design, TMJ headache or migraine can be due to even consistent teeth grinding. The muscles of the TMJ run along the jaw and cheeks, and most of the time, these muscles lead to pain, ultimately headache or migraine. In some cases, a TMJ headache might also result from TMJ issues related to joint hypermobility, osteoarthritis, or osteoporosis. 

How do you know if you have TMJ headache/migraine?

There are a few Symptoms from which you can assess TMJ headache/migraine: 

  • Jaw pain is most common in the morning or early afternoon due to teeth grinding
  • Frequent Headaches
  • Pain in the eyes and face
  • Earaches and tinnitus
  • The clicking of the jaw
  • Sensitive teeth 
  • Numbness in the fingers
  • Jaw lock
  • Limited mouth opening
  • Clenching of the teeth             

What to do when you have a TMJ headache/migraine?

There are many ways to find relief from painful TMJ headaches or migraines. Our TMJ specialist recommends the following methods to deal with a severe headache due to TMJ. 

  • Jaw exercises 

Many simple relaxation exercises can help you to deal with TMJ pain:

The First step is to rest your tongue on the upper part of your mouth at the back of your front teeth. After that, relax your jaw muscles and move your teeth and tongue slightly apart. This simple exercise will help you to settle down the severe TMJ pain you had. Other helpful practices include the goldfish exercises, chin tucks, and side-to-side jaw movement exercises.

  • Massage Your Jaw

If you have been suffering from severe headaches due to TMJ, gently knead your jaw to enhance the blood flow on that part of your face. There is a particular way to do the massage of your jaw: 

Firstly, Place three fingers on the mandibular joint and slightly massage in a circular motion. You can continue until you start feeling some relief. 

  • Avoid Stressful Situations

Stress and anxiety are some of the major causes of headaches or migraine pain. TMJ headaches are no exception. Do you know how stress and anxiety can cause TMJ headaches? Well, the answer is simple whenever you’re stressed, you tense your jaw. If you keep your jaw stiff for long periods, there are chances you will develop TMJ headaches. You should consult medical help or our expert Dr. Mueller at Arizona Smile Design to know more about avoiding stressful situations with TMJ therapies. 

If TMJ Headaches/migraine Persist, Consult Dr. Mueller for TMJ treatment 

If you leave TMJ headaches untreated, they can be very unpleasant. With the TMJ therapies by TMJ specialists, You don’t have to struggle with persistent symptoms every day. A TMJ specialist has other ways of treating headaches and migraine pain caused due to TMJ. When the TMJ becomes a chronic illness, it is presented with acute, painful flare-ups; the TMJ specialist Dr. Mueller at Arizona Smile Design works closely with the patient’s primary care physician to identify the main triggers. 

The TMJ treatment options by TMJ specialists progress from least invasive to more complicated. At Arizona Smile Design, the TMJ specialist will create a customized treatment plan that includes a thorough examination to diagnose if there has been an injury to the jaw. After a comprehensive assessment, TMJ specialists will suggest the following options.

  • Mouthguards
  • Arthrocentesis
  • Arthroscopic surgery
  • Modified condyloma
  • Open joint surgery

If you have TMJ headaches/migraines, then remember that it is highly treatable. The TMJ specialist and other specialists can manage it with a combination of treatments. So please don’t wait and call us to book an appointment with Dr. Mueller at Arizona Smile Design to get the best medicine.