Can TMJ Issues Cause Migraines and Headaches?

Many patients have migraines and headaches and yet, do not have pain in their jaws.  These headaches sometimes do not go away as the underlying cause of them is not addressed.  These TMJ headaches go largely undiagnosed by physicians who often simply prescribe medications.  The blame is often put on hormonal issues or stress.

Dr. Konig expresses, “TMJ headaches are widely underdiagnosed, there are non-surgical ways to treat the underlying cause of these headaches without prescription drugs.”

cranial derangement 1
This photo shows how a misaligned bite can cause strain and headaches

The following are some signs that might be a clue that your headaches are TMJ related:

  • Your bite feels off, or you feel like your teeth do not have a home to bite into. If this is the case, when you put your teeth together, they may force the jaw joints out of alignment too. This strains the muscles in the face and head and can cause headaches
  • Jaw Joint noises. If you hear any popping or grating when you open and close your mouth, this is a TMJ issue and can cause headaches as well as the possibility of TMJ pain too.
  • Neck pain and shoulder pain: TMJ can manifest itself with these symptoms.  Many patients constantly get massages, physical therapy or chiropractic care to try and eliminate these.  They often say they carry their stress on their necks.  Having TMJ issues can throw the head and neck alignment off for multiple reasons
  • Ear pain: many patients see an ENT for ear pain or tinnitus only to be told their ears are fine.  Often the misaligned jaw joint can press the jaw back and this pushes on the ear
  • Snoring or poor sleep: believe it or not having a bad bite can cause airway problems which can induce grinding and bruxism as well as poor sleep. Both of these can cause headaches as well. Often there are treatments that we are able to help with the airway and breathing such as Anterior Guided Growth Appliances or even an oral sleep Appliance

The good  news is, once properly diagnosed, there are multiple non-surgical ways to correct these issues.  Even if you have an overbite or underbite there are modalities that can help you feel better.   If you have any questions or concerns regarding Houston TMJ or Houston TMJ Headaches, please feel free to contact our office, Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF, 713-668-2289.

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