The second most frequent cause of chronic pain is temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). It makes eating and talking difficult, if not impossible, and frequently causes headaches. However, many people mistakenly confuse a TMJ headache with a Migraine. When your TMJ is misdiagnosed as a Migraine, you'll continue to treat it as such. You may feel better for a while, but the pain will return if the root of the problem isn't treated. That is why it is important to differentiate between TMJ Headaches and Migraines, and today we will help you do it.
What is TMD Mostly Known as TMJ?
TMD refers to a wide range of clinical conditions caused by abnormalities with the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). You can eat, talk, and yawn thanks to the TMJ, which connects your jaw to your skull. The TMJ muscles that support the jaw can be found under the jaw, in the cheeks, on top of the jaw, and the sides of the head. Because the jaw muscles contract when you grind or clench your teeth, the strain can spread to other parts of the brain, causing headaches.
What is a Migraine?
Migraine headaches are a type of primary headache with a wide range of symptoms, intensity, and treatment options. Auras that include flashing lights, hazy pictures, or wavy lines usually precede migraines, and migraines are often accompanied by sensitivity to light, sound, and scent. A migraine episode can be made intolerable by simple physical activities such as leaning over. People with episodic migraines have headaches for less than 15 days per month, but chronic migraine sufferers have headaches for 15 or more days per month, often every day for years.
How to Differentiate Between a Migraine Headache and a TMJ Headache
There are a few symptoms that your headache is originating in your jaw rather than being a legitimate headache. For starters, pain in the jaw does not induce the same symptoms like migraine headaches, such as nausea and sensitivity to light, sound, or smell. There are other ways to know if your headache is caused by TMJ problems.
- Common headache treatments offer only temporary relief
In the short term, over-the-counter drugs may help ease your headache. However, if you get TMJ headaches, the medications won't help you stop them from happening again. This includes home cures such as a cold compress, extra water, or essential oils.
- Before, during, or after a headache, you clench your teeth.
Teeth clenching, often known as bruxism, is one type of jaw activity worth mentioning. This can happen at any time of day or night, therefore it might be the cause of your morning headaches, which means they are caused by TMJ.
- You experience other symptoms and signs of TMD
Finally, there are a few more TMD symptoms to consider:
- Worn-down teeth
- Jaw soreness in the morning/afternoon
- Headaches, migraines, and neck aches
- Upper back tightness
- Popping and clicking of the jaw
- Jaw deviates to left or right when opening or closing
- Limited opening & closing of the jaw
- Difficulty in speaking and eating
- Pressure in-ear or Dizziness
Where Are TMJ Headaches Located?
TMJ headaches are located in your temporal area, your maxillary areas above your eyes, in your eyes, and suboccipital location. TMJ headaches are not migraines, they are tension headaches.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms along with headaches it’s very possible that you are suffering from TMD and you need to see a doctor. And if you are looking for a TMJ specialist in OC, Dr. Pine and his Ortho Stop TMJ treatment is your best option. It will help eliminate your TMJ pain by reducing grinding and clenching during sleep. Let us help you, and see how much your life will improve after this. Contact us now!