DO YOU HAVE TMJ: A “HIDDEN” CAUSE OF HEADACHES?
“I keep getting headaches over my temples,” Melissa complained. “I rub them a lot but some days, I have a hard time being patient with the kids because the headache is so bad.”
When we examined Melissa, we found that she had a common cause of headaches over the sides of her head, TMJ. TMJ is just
short for temporomandibular joint which is the jaw joint.
Muscles that close your mouth run from the sides of your head to under your cheek bones and then down to under the jaw. Other
muscles that run the jaw are in your cheeks and some travel under the jaw bone itself.
Sometimes people clench their jaws when tense or when concentrating. This can lead to pain over the temples because the muscles there are working hard when the jaw clenches. Sometimes there is a problem with how the muscles that open the jaw and the muscles that close the jaw are balanced with each other. This is where chiropractic care can help. Other times there is a problem in the bony structure of the joint itself requiring an oral surgeon to work on it. And sometimes there has been a change in how the teeth line up requiring help from your dentist.
If you have recurring headache pains over the sides of your head, having your jaw muscles balanced and aligning the upper neck joints with the jaw joint is a good place to start. If that does not completely clear the problem, then having your bite checked by your dentist or trying a bite guard at night might be in order.
If your jaw joint pops and clicks or gets stuck open or closed often and feels warm or swollen, then you may have arthritis or something more serious wrong. This condition should be examined by a dental surgeon who specializes in TMJ.
However, we often can help headache pains over the temples with simple chiropractic treatments. We can also teach you how to ease some of the tension yourself. Why suffer?
If you have recurring headaches over the sides of your head, give us a call today at 978-535-6155 and ask for a TMJ evaluation.