Headaches or Migraines

Dental Center for TMJ and Facial Pain

This is the most common complaint heard from patients who have TMJ/TMD. Even migraines are, many times, really TMD problems.

Nearly all headache pain is directly related to muscles not functioning properly. Many times we tend to picture a headache taking place in the skull itself. The muscles, however, are a major factor in pain and headaches. The reason TMJ patients most often suffer from temporal headaches is because the temporalis muscle, which is located at the sides of the head, is the positioning muscle of the mandible, or lower jaw. If the teeth clenched together place the mandible at an unfavorable relationship to the head and neck complex, the temporalis muscle is over-reactive and goes into spasm. Overworked muscles of chewing, like overworked muscles in any sport, can fatigue, be filled with toxins and cause pain perceived as headaches. Clenchers and grinders often wake up in the mornings with temporal headaches. This misalignment of the mandible is an orthopedic problem which can be corrected, thus eliminating temporal headaches related to the bite or occlusion. These muscles can also refer pain other areas in the head that are NOT necessarily the source of the problem. This is why many times, when a headache begins, the pain is felt in the neck and radiates or moves up into the head. The pain can also be referred behind the eyes, in the teeth, on the neck, as well as certain areas of the face and head.