Headaches relating to TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) are often misdiagnosed, often being diagnosed as a tension or stress headache. TMJ headaches are unique in a number of ways, but are often preventable and treatable – which could be a huge relief for those whose TMJ pains have been misdiagnosed.  By accurately defining what is different about a TMJ headache, we can help patients to find relief before the pain becomes unbearable.

TMJ pain is often accompanied by a number of other symptoms. If you suspect you may be experiencing TMJ pain, pay attention to see if you also experience any of the following:

  • Stiffness in the jaw, sometimes making it difficult to open and close your mouth;
  • A cracking or grinding noise when you move your jaw;
  • Pain or tenderness throughout the face and neck; and
  • Fatigue.

There are also a number of symptoms that are unlikely to happen along with TMJ pain, but would show up with other types of headaches. If you are experiencing the following, then TMJ is unlikely to be the direct cause of your headache:

  • Nausea;
  • Sensitivity to light;
  • Sensitivity to sound; and
  • Fatigue.

However, a TMJ headache can trigger a migraine which may present with the above symptoms – which is why it is so important to determine if you headache started with any of the traditional symptoms of TMJ pain or not.

Addressing your head pain is vital to your overall health. If your pain is being caused by issues with your TMJ, there may be ways to both prevent and treat the disorder – providing relief where you could not get it before.

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