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HomeSymptoms› 5 Warning Signs Your Headache Could Be Caused by Your TMJ

1. Your jaw clicks or pops.

Any joint in your body should work silently and seamlessly. It should rotate smoothly creating no sound or vibration. If your jaw clicks or pops when you open or close, it’s a clear sign that the lower half of the joint (the condyle) is not in the proper position.

Even though the clicking and popping itself does not produce any pain, it’s a red flag that the joint is not in the proper position and the muscles that then have to support and stabilize the joint in that improper position are fatigued and they will produce the pain.

2. Your bite feels off.

The only joint in the human body that has 28 teeth stuck between the opening and closing motion of the joint to complicate things, is the TMJ. Every other joint in our body is completely controlled by our muscles; the position of the joint, its movement and range of motion are mediated by muscle.

The exception is our TMJ. This joint has 28 teeth stuck between the opening and closing range of motion. It’s the only joint whose position is entirely dictated by where our teeth come together (our bite). Our bite positions our lower jaw which positions our TMJ.

So if your bite feels off or your teeth don’t fit together well, there’s a good chance your TMJ joints are off also. If they are, then the muscles that have to move, stabilize and support the joints will fatigue and produce pain.

3. You have pain around your forehead, temples, back of head or radiating down your neck.

Ninety percent of pain comes from muscle. If your muscles are not functioning well because of fatigue from supporting one or both of your TMJ joints in an improper position, they produce pain.

This is no different than if you overworked any muscle in your body from too much exercise or work and feel pain later. In the case of your TMJ and headaches the only difference is that it’s more subtle and chronic in nature.

4. You have forward head posture.

Your head should be centered over your shoulders. If your head is in front of your shoulders when you’re upright, you have ‘forward head posture’. This position is related to your bite and your airway.

Your head weighs approximately eight to ten pounds. The further forward off the center axis it is, the more stress and strain it places on your neck muscles and vertebrae. Imagine holding a ten pound bowling ball… the further away from the midline of your body you hold it, the harder it becomes to hold it and support it.

Your neck, back of your head and side of your head can all be in pain from this problem.

5. You snore.

Snoring is a red flag that respiration during sleep is disturbed. There are several factors that affect why we snore, but one of the most important is the position of our lower jaw. If our lower jaw is a little too far backward, then our tongue is also further backward since our tongue’s position is dictated by where our jaw is.

If the tongue is slightly further back than optimal it vibrates against our soft palate, closes off our airway and we snore. So again, while snoring itself doesn’t create headaches, it’s another red flag that our lower jaw is too far back and again the muscles that have to support the jaw in an improper position produce the pain.

Additionally, if our respiration during sleep is compromised, we may not be getting enough oxygen and have too much carbon dioxide building up in our bloodstream. This can manifest in ‘morning headaches’ upon awakening.

It’s not your grandma’s headache remedy any more.

The days of just popping a few pills and thinking there’s nothing else that can be done is long gone. Science and medical technology have evolved to a point where we can determine the underlying cause of headache pain and treat it effectively.

At the Atlanta Center for TMJ we look at all the factors that lead to headache and migraine pain and then select the best course of therapy. Wherever you choose to go, get help. Please don’t live with chronic pain.

Contact us today to start controlling your TMJ pain and to receive TMJ treatment.