How many of us have experienced a headache in our lifetime? How about regularly? While many people can get away with writing off their headaches as being a result of being overtired or dehydrated, many others can’t. We’re wired to look for patterns, especially when we’re trying to uncover the cause of our pain or discomfort. While far from the only cause of headaches, some patients have found that following treatment for their TMJ disorder that they see a decrease in headache events. Let’s dive into three signs headaches are from TMJ disorder.
Identifying Headache Patterns
One of the simplest ways to identify if the headaches someone is experiencing are a result of TMJ disorder is to note what happens before, during, or after the headache sets in. For example, some patients with TMJ disorder who also suffer from headaches, note that those headaches:
- Follow strenuous jaw activity
- Occur while clenching their jaw
- Lead to jaw pain or restricted movement
Headaches Following Strenuous Jaw Activity
What constitutes strenuous jaw activity? We use our jaw joint tirelessly throughout the day for activities like chewing, yawning, singing, and talking. Our regular use of the TMJ joint can make mitigating jaw activity challenging. The amount of jaw activity that is needed to cause a person’s headaches can vary with symptoms worsening with prolonged use.
During Jaw Clenching
Clenching the jaw is another way to overexert the muscles used for things like chewing, yawning, singing, and talking. Clenching also increases tension on the jaw joint. The additional strain on the jaw can then radiate to the head. The TMJ, or temporomandibular joint connects the mandible or the jaw to the temporal bone on the skull, therefore linking the jaw to the head.
Jaw Pain and Restricted Movement
Jaw pain, restricted movement, and joint clicking are all typical symptoms of a dysfunctional jaw joint. When headaches are accompanied by one of these three symptoms it demonstrates a connection between those symptoms a root cause of TMD.
Contact Evolution Dental Today
If you live in Calgary, Northwest Calgary, Cochrane or other nearby areas of Alberta and would like to learn more about headaches and their connection to TMJ disorder, you can call Evolution Dental today at 403-768-2433 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kendra Schick.
*all procedures performed at our practice by a general dentist