the relationship between headaches and tmj

The Relationship Between Headaches and TMJ

Although chronic headaches can result from many things, triggers are often overlooked. If you have become discouraged by treatments and medications failing to relieve your pain, then you may want to consider TMJ therapy in Mill Bay.

What is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)?

Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, is a condition that affects the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. There are multiple causes of TMJ, and it has often been linked to involuntary nighttime clenching and grinding due to stress. One of the primary symptoms of TMJ is a chronic headache. Unfortunately, the source of your headache may persist until your dentist in Mill Bay identifies TMJ as the reason for your pain.

Other symptoms of TMJ include:

● Ear fullness
● Jaw pain
● Neck pain
● Neck fullness
● Ringing in the ear
● Waking up with headaches
● Worn, chipped, or cracked teeth
● Clicking or popping sounds when chewing

If you are experiencing headaches in tandem with any of the above, visit our team at Mill Bay Dental for an examination.

What Are Possible Solutions for TMJ?

There are many forms of TMJ therapy near you. Most of the time, our dentist will recommend that you begin with conservative at-home treatment. This means avoiding hard and crunchy foods, giving up gum chewing, and performing simple exercises to release tension in your jaw. Additionally, it would help if you tried to meditate a few times a day and remove stressors from your life, as TMJ is very closely associated with stress and anxiety. You can also take over-the-counter anti-inflammatories to help with your pain as you begin conservative treatment. Ibuprofen works well to manage pain associated with TMJ.


If conservative treatment does not work, our dentist near you may offer a custom-made night guard for you to wear. This will keep your upper and lower jaw apart while you sleep and ensure that you are unable to clench and grind your teeth. Using this device will alleviate tension in your muscles and help you get some much-needed relief.

Our dentist may also recommend that you get Botox injections to temporarily paralyze your jaw muscles and release tension in your jaw.

Most of the time, conservative treatment is enough to control your pain and reduce the frequency of your headaches. However, if none of these more conservative options work to relieve your pain, our dentist may refer you to an oral maxillofacial specialist for further testing and treatment. This specialist can insert a small camera into your jaw to determine the exact problem with your joint. They can also drain fluid to reduce inflammation around the joint and even perform more extensive surgeries to relocate your jaw if necessary.

Visit Mill Bay Dental

Chronic headaches can affect almost every aspect of your life, from work to socializing to your ability to enjoy a night at home alone. If you have been looking for a reason for your headaches and come up empty-handed, you may want to consider visiting a dentist to determine if TMJ is the cause of your headaches. At Mill Bay Dental, our team is happy to offer TMJ evaluations and treatments. Please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated team of dental professionals and book a consultation today!