TMJ and TMJ headaches over the years can slowly leave one in a great deal of pain.
Not only the jaw is painful, but headaches to endure with it. We discussed on other pages how headaches and migraines have around three hundred different causes. A person can have headaches that come from the neck area (that's why we recommend buckwheat pillows to help with that), all the way down to the jaw.
While three hundred causes doesn't seem like that many headache culprits, it can be flustering to find what is causing the head pain, and many people never find what causes their head to hurt, they just have their headache and migraine symptoms treated.
When a headache sufferer can find their trigger/cause of their headaches that's great, but most headache sufferers run into dead end streets each way they turn.
On this page we'll write about one cause that may get overlooked as a headache culprit. And that is pain caused by the jaw. While there are quite a few people that have TMJ as it's called, not all have headaches. So it can be tricky.
One could be going to see a headache doctor, or just their regular doctor to treat their headaches, and just plain forget about the jaw joint as a possible cause of the head pain. . (The TMJ may slide between the cracks.)
Even the best headache specialists make the wrong call if one fails to give them crucial info, or fail to go the distance to find the cause of the pain, and may be treating the wrong place for the pain.
It's much easier to just treat the symptoms of migraines and headaches (had a doctor tell me that) than search for what is causing them. About all headache sufferers end up going to several different doctors, and in the switching around, some issues with the headaches may be forgotten.
TMJ may be making the head hurt, and a headache sufferer may want to have their jaw checked if any of the below symptoms are experienced.
Some symptoms of TMJ, or TMJ symptoms.
Is biting or chewing difficult? How about waking to a migraine? Earache, or a headache (different from a migraine) in the morning? Neck or shoulders have pain in them? Does your jaws click, or make noises when you open your mouth wide? All of these are TMJ symptoms.
Although not all TMJ sufferers have the popping sound, but if one does, and has headaches, it's worth getting checked out. If you also have pain along the facial muscles, ear, and below the ear, also difficulty opening, and closing the mouth, and swelling in the jaw area, head to your doctor.
(And just as a reminder if he/she checks and says you have TMJ, make him/her line you up to have a CAT scan, to determine what is wrong, and how severe it is.)
Picture TMJ like a frog in a pot of water on the stove. If you turn the heat up all of a sudden, the frog will jump out, (if the jaw was to suddenly hurt very badly such as a dislocation, or broken jaw, off to the doctor) but if the heat is gradually turned up, the frog will sit there until he dies.
Same with TMJ, sometimes it slowly works on one jaw joint until something such as headaches, jaw pain, and so forth arises. The Trigeminal nerve sits close to the jaw, and upon irritation can give a constant headache, like what my wife has. More on that later.
TMJ ( temporomandibular joint disorder) can be joint related, or muscle related. There can be tension in the jaw, and its surrounding muscles, or the joint area can be wearing out in the TMJ area. This is where an MRI has to be done to access the damage.
Here's something to remember. If at some time you've been to a doctor, or as my wife, to a neurologist, (years ago) and they examine and say the headaches are coming from TMJ, and prescribe pain medicine, and then refer you to a headache specialist, walk away.
Here's someone that knows that TMJ headaches can, and do happen, but is not interested enough to find out more about the extent of the TMJ. The doctor should make an appointment with an oral surgeon, or a dentist that is qualified to treat theTMJ. In turn, after CAT scans, more will be known about the diseased jaw, and if the headaches are from that.
This didn't happened to my wife. Once she was sent to a headache specialist, one moved her to another, to pain management, and so forth. All was treating her for migraines, and headaches, but no relief. Moving from one doctor to another, some issues seem to be forgot, and a TMJ headache never popped into one doctors head, although she was checked in the face area quite often.
Once we found a (great headache specialist in my book, and that's saying something for me to think that) he looked for what was causing her head to hurt 24/7, instead of just treating the symptoms.) On our first visit his words were, and I quote, "headaches and migraines are normal, believe it or not, but when your head never quits hurting, the cause needs to be found.
First, her headaches could have been from Hemicrania Continua, or occipital neuralgia. After just several months we have found out what may be the culprit on her headaches and migraines, thanks to her headache specialist.
Although he said her head pain wasn't coming from her jaw, she may have to have a jaw replacement (ouch) because she didn't realize she had severe arthritis in her right jaw (side that her head hurts), and slowly deteriorated her jaw. Remember the frog.
This is a slow process in most cases, to the point of TMJ headaches, and in my wife's case, TMJ surgery. So, point to remember, don't put this off, even if you aren't suffering with headaches or migraines yet, if you have TMJ, get it treated.
More information on TMJ and headaches. It's from health central, a respected web site on health problems. On our last page is more info on TMJ headaches, and our next page covers alcohol headaches. Home page from TMJ Headache
Thanks to reading our TMJ headache page , we hope this gave you info about the jaw joint.
For our Migrane sufferers that may want to seek additional help other than information, there's many products to choose from on Amazon to relieve that headache. You'll be surprised as to how many products are designed for headache relief, from medicine to pillows and so forth.
Look at the products below and read the reviews. They are all sold on Amazon formigraine relief
Even pillows for migraines help tremendously when the pain originates from the neck area. Herbs and Vitamins such as the ones mentioned above are helpful for some sufferers. Most are very inexpensive, and you may find something that will work for your type of headache. All can be found by searching Amazons many headache products.