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What is a TMJ headache?
Temporomandibular joint TMJ headache are headaches that originate from the temporomandibular joint, which is the joint connecting the jaw to the skull. These headaches are often caused by bruxism (teeth grinding), TMJ disorders, or tension in the jaw, neck, and shoulder muscles.
Headaches vs TMJ Headache
People often mistake headaches and Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders for one another, even though these are two separate conditions.
Many different factors, such as stress, lack of sleep, or even certain foods, can cause a headache, which refers to a pain or discomfort in the head, scalp, or neck.
TMJ Disorders affects the temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects the jaw to the skull. The symptoms of TMJ Disorders include jaw pain, clicking or popping sounds when opening the jaw. This causes headaches that originate in the temples or around the jaw.
Understanding the difference between the two is crucial because their treatment approaches differ. Managing headaches involves effectively using pain medication and implementing lifestyle changes, while addressing TMJ Disorders typically requires specialized treatment such as physical therapy or dental procedures.
Symptoms of TMJ headache
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) headaches is a type of headache that originate from the temporomandibular joint, which connects the jaw to the skull. The following are common symptoms of TMJ headaches:
- Jaw Pain: This is the most common symptom of TMJ headaches and is often described as a dull or aching pain in the jaw.
- Headache: TMJ headaches are often described as a headache in the temples or around the jaw. They can be constant or intermittent and can range in intensity from mild to severe.
- Clicking or Popping Sounds: These sounds may occur when opening the jaw and can be a sign of TMJ Disorders.
- Difficulty Opening the Mouth: Some people with TMJ headaches may have difficulty opening their mouth fully, as the jaw may feel stiff or sore.
- Facial Pain: Some people may experience pain in their face or around the eye area, in addition to jaw pain.
- Neck Pain: People with TMJ headaches may also experience neck pain, as the neck muscles may be tight from compensating for the jaw pain.
Types of care for Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders.
There are several types of treatment that can be effective in managing Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders. Here are some common types of care:
- Pain Medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help relieve pain associated with TMJ Disorders.
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy can help reduce jaw pain and improve jaw function. This may include exercises to stretch and strengthen the jaw muscles and other techniques to relieve tension.
- Dental Procedures: Dental procedures, such as the placement of a splint or bite guard, can help correct bite problems that may be contributing to TMJ Disorders.
- Counseling or Stress Management: Stress and anxiety can be triggers for TMJ Disorders. Counseling or stress management techniques can help reduce stress and improve overall health.
- Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be recommended to correct structural problems in the jaw.
- Infrared Light TMJ Therapy : is a type of light wavelength therapy that uses specific wavelengths of infrared light to treat various medical conditions. Infrared light is a type of light that has a longer wavelength than visible light, and is not visible to the naked eye.
- DIY : light therapy at home
It’s important to note that the type of treatment will depend on the individual and the severity of their TMJ Disorders. It’s best to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and the most appropriate treatment plan.
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