young woman holds her forehead in pain from a chronic headache

Is TMJ Dysfunction Causing My Chronic Headaches?

October 21, 2021 7:10 pm | Published by

Do you suffer from chronic headaches? Headache discomfort can range from mild, dull aching to sharp, agonizing pain. Even when the pain is fairly mild, it disrupts your life and makes it hard to focus on anything else. If your headaches tend to consist of dull aching, it could be because of TMJ dysfunction, or TMD. What is TMD? What can a dentist do about it?

Causes of TMJ Dysfunction

TMD is an acronym for temporomandibular joint disorder. It occurs when there’s a problem with one or both of your temporomandibular joints. This is the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull. It works like a hinge and lets you open and close your mouth. People can develop TMJ issues for a variety of reasons, including genetics, arthritis, an injury, or teeth grinding.

Chronic Headaches

Dull, tight headaches are a common warning sign of TMJ dysfunction. The muscles that cross the TMJ are along your jaw and cheeks. When these muscles tense up, the pain can spread to other muscles along the sides and even the top of your head. This strain leads to a headache.

Other symptoms of TMJ disorder include:

  • Jaw tenderness or pain
  • Aching around your ears
  • A popping/clicking sound in your jaw
  • Buzzing in your ears
  • Neck pain
  • Pain or strain when chewing

Treatment for TMJ Dysfunction in Cedar Park, Texas

During regular appointments, our team also checks for jaw issues. If you receive a TMD diagnosis, there are treatments that can help ease your discomfort and headaches, like jaw exercises and over-the-counter pain medications. If teeth grinding plays a role in your TMJ pain, we can create a custom night guard for you. This will act as a barrier between your upper and lower teeth at night to reduce the pressure on your jaw when you try to clench your teeth together.

If you have questions about this condition or want to schedule an appointment at Vista Ridge Family Dentistry, please contact us today.

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