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What’s a TMJ Headache?

What’s a TMJ Headache?

When you think of dental pain, you probably think first of toothaches or sore gums. But for many patients, it also includes symptoms that are less obviously tied to dental health, like chronic headaches. For instance, when you have TMJ disorder—a dysfunction that makes jaw movement difficult and painful—headaches and migraines can be a nearly every day occurrence.

To find out if your headaches are TMJ headaches, your dentist can examine your jaw health and alignment during your next visit, then recommend an appropriate course of treatment to alleviate them.

The Role of TMJs

TMJs, or temporomandibular joints, allow your lower jaw to open, close, and move smoothly as you bite, chew, and speak. Normally, these joints operate at the same time, which requires proper balance in your tooth alignment and the alignment of your jaw.

Otherwise, the joints and jaw muscles around them will have to work overtime to compensate for the discrepancy every time your jaw opens and closes. This can cause excessive pressure that damages the joints, forces them out of alignment, or exhausts their muscles, leading to TMJ discomfort like chronic headaches.

When TMJ Disorder Strikes

There are several different issues that can be classified as TMJ disorder, all of which affect your jaw joints in some fashion. When such a disorder strikes, it can aggravate the large group of nerves that control your jaw’s movement, known as the trigeminal nerves.

Besides controlling your jaw, trigeminal nerves also carry sensory information from most of your head, neck, and facial structures. Therefore, the pain from TMJ disorder can spread to other areas, and besides headaches, you might also experience pain in your ears and discomfort and soreness in your facial muscles, among many other symptoms.

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Our primary goal is to enhance the health and quality of life of every one our patients through customized, comprehensive dental care. Book an appointment Call Sunnyvale Dental Care today at (408) 720-0900. We also proudly serve patients from Santa Clara, Cupertino, Mountain View, San Jose, Campbell, Palo Alto, and all surrounding communities.

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