When you are plagued by chronic headaches, it can really get in the way of enjoying your life. Dealing with a throbbing head day after day will rob you of your concentration, affect your sleep, and drag you down.
If you have been to a headache specialist and tried all sorts of headache treatments without any luck, it’s time to look in another direction. Your headache pain could be due to a problem with your jaw.
How your jaw is related to headache pain
When a headache doctor searches for causes, the jaw is often overlooked. However, problems with the temporomandibular joint, the hinge that connects the upper and lower jaw, can wreak havoc on your body. In addition to causing pain, swelling, and tenderness in the jaw itself, TMJ pain can extend to the head, neck, and shoulders.
When your jaw is out of alignment, your jaw muscles must strain and can become inflamed. These inflamed muscles can irritate the surrounding nerves, radiating pain to your head to the point of bringing on headaches of migraine proportions.
Recognizing symptoms of a TMJ disorder
In addition to chronic headaches, you may be experiencing other symptoms that indicate you have a TMJ disorder. They include:
- Pain in your jaw
- A clicking or popping noise when you are eating or open your mouth wide
- The inability to open your mouth wide
- The sensation that your jaw is locked
- A stiff neck
- Pain in your shoulders
- Difficulty chewing and swallowing
- A sore throat
- Tingling in your hands
- Difficulty with your hearing
If any of these symptoms sound familiar, there’s a good chance your headaches are connected. Whether you were a victim of an injury, or simply have an improper bite, you could be dealing with a TMJ disorder.
Get to the root of your headache pain
If pain relievers do not take away your pain, and those who specialize in dealing with headaches have no answers for you, your dentist may have the solution.
Through careful evaluation, including a physical examination, bite analysis, and the use of medical imagery, your dentist will pinpoint any problems with your jaw. From that point, treatment can be recommended. From anti-inflammatory medication to physical therapy or the use of a mouth guard at night, you have options that can make your headache pain a thing of the past.