Temporomandibular Joint Disorder affects many areas of the body, but most of the painful symptoms of TMJ affect the head area. TMJ head symptoms can be painful and will likely have a very serious impact on your quality of life. Whether you’ve had TMJ head symptoms for mere days or weeks, or if you’ve suffered from TMJ for years or decades, there is TMJ treatment in Kansas City, Missouri, at Raman Center for TMJ & Sleep.
TMJ Head Symptoms
Some of the most common head symptoms of TMJ are:
- Facial pain
- Pain behind the eyes
- Difficulty chewing
- Pain while chewing
- Difficulty speaking
- Pain while speaking
- Difficulty opening the mouth
The most common head symptom of TMJ is headaches. These headaches may feel like a migraine, but they are almost always tension headaches that could last for hours or even days.
With TMJ, there are primarily two reasons you will get a headache. The most common reason for a TMJ headache is jaw tension. When people clench their teeth or grind their teeth (medically known as “bruxism”), the muscles and joints in the mouth and jaw area are overworked, causing headache pain.
The pain travels up from the jaw to the temples, where it can manifest as mild, moderate, or severe headache pain. Grinding the teeth can also result in cramping of the jaw, leading to pulsating headaches that feel like migraines. For this reason, many people will come to Raman Center for TMJ & Sleep claiming they have migraine headaches but have not actually been diagnosed with migraine.
A second common reason for a TMD headache is a misaligned bite (medically known as “malocclusion”), which puts a strain on the jaw. The stress of trying to keep the jaw in the proper position can tire the surrounding tissues – including facial muscles – and when this happens, the result is a headache. For this reason, the goal of TMJ treatment is always to get the jaw in its optimal position. When the jaw is in its optimal position, there is no strain that can lead to headache pain.
More Head Symptoms Related to TMJ
TMJ headaches are often accompanied by a number of other symptoms in different areas of the body. Some of the most common symptoms seen with TMJ headache include:
- Pain in the muscles of the cheeks
- Ear congestion or muffled sensation
- Neck achiness
- Shoulder achiness
- Locked jaw
- Difficulty swallowing
- Reduced mobility
- Tightness of the jaw
- Popping/clicking noises in the jaw area
Three Classifications of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research classifies TMD by the following:
Myofascial pain is the most common form of TMD and presents as pain in the connective tissue covering the muscles known as “fascia.” Affected areas are those tissues that control jaw, neck, and shoulder function.
Internal derangement of the joint simply means a dislocated jaw or dysfunctional disk in the jaw. This may also include injury to the condyle, which is the rounded end of the jawbone that moves with the temporal skull bone.
Degenerative joint disease (DJD), which includes rheumatoid and osteoarthritis of the jaw joint.
Comprehensive computer data analyses using the most advanced neuromuscular dental technology available today will provide insight into what has caused your TMJ.
Final Note Regarding TMJ Headaches
Noting where the pain is located is necessary for determining whether a headache stems from a TMJ issue or not. If a migraine, sinus, or tension headache occurs in the temples, forehead or behind the eyes, jaw pain is likely the cause. The same holds true for neck discomfort and stabbing pain that starts at the base of the head and travels to the scalp. If you feel these TMJ head symptoms, you will likely be a great candidate for TMJ treatment at Raman Center for TMJ & Sleep.
Contact Dr. Raman in Kansas City, Missouri Today
TMJ headaches are painful and can greatly affect your quality of life. If you’ve suffered from TMJ headaches, there is treatment available in Kansas City, Missouri, at Raman Center for TMJ & Sleep.
Dr. Prabu Raman is a respected innovator, pioneer, and educator in Physiologic Neuromuscular Dentistry who has the education, skills, and experience to free you of the painful symptoms of TMJ/TMD. Please contact the office today by calling (816) 436-4422, or you may fill out our online contact form by posing a question or scheduling a new patient evaluation.