Headaches are debilitating and alter the quality of life for patients. Yesterday, I was talking with several TMJ patients in our office who both told me that not having headaches has changed their lives. One TMJ patient, who was a migraine patient, expressed to me that she did not realize how bad she was feeling until we were able to get rid of her migraine headaches.
Humans have an adaptive response which allows us to live with certain maladies. What patients often do not realize is that headaches are only one component of TMJ symptoms or TMD issues. Many times TMJ or your bite also causes neck issues and postural problems. The reason for this is the body tries to adapt to the bad bite by causing a forward neck posture which affects the neck by causing a straight neck or loss of lordosis. Other times, the shift in jaw position can cause rotation of C1 and C2.
Ironically, the jaw joints do not even have to hurt and there can be TMJ related problems as it affects the muscles. This muscle tension can cause headaches.
TMJ treatment is more than just the mouth, the astute TMJ dentist should be looking at the whole body as well as the jaw joint and teeth. TMJ is a complex medical issue and should be viewed as such so that patients quality of life can be improved.
So many times TMJ dysfunction is overlooked as a cause of headaches and migraines.