Do you find yourself feeling anxious lately? Are you experiencing more headaches than normal? You may be struggling with TMJ Headaches.
In 2018, a stress survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) revealed that stress levels in the United States were at an average of 5.1 on a scale of 1-10. Those numbers have undoubtedly increased as the world is experiencing a life-changing pandemic.
All of these factors are capable of leading to stress and anxiety. Most times, when people undergo this immense pressure, they tend to clench their jaws unconsciously. This act can tighten the jaw muscles leading to TMJ disorder.
What is TMJ Disorder?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your skull to your jaw bone. This joint, along with other muscles and ligaments, enable you to chew, talk, and swallow. When the TMJ becomes misaligned, it is referred to as TMJ disorder.
Non-severe TMJ disorder would usually get better on its own without the need for dental treatment. If you have a mild case, you can avoid hard or sticky foods and massage your jaw with either a warm or cold compress, giving your jaw and the surrounding muscles a break and time to relax. However, some cases require the help of a dentist. If you’re in severe pain, please see your dentist immediately.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder + TMJ Headaches
TMJ disorder can lead to discomfort and severe pain around the jaw joint and muscles that control it. Understanding the symptoms can be your first step to finding a solution.
Usually, when you have a headache, your jaw would not be the first place you look for a possible cause. However, it just might be the reason. When you grind your teeth or clench your jaw, your jaw muscles tense up, causing pain that can spread to muscles in your head, resulting in a headache.
Although it can be hard to distinguish between general headaches and TMJ headaches, knowing some of the common signs can help guide you. These include tight jaw and facial muscles, jaw and facial pain.
A TMJ headache might also come from TMJ issues related to joint hypermobility.
2. Unusual Sounds in the Jaw
Due to constant clenching and grinding of your teeth, the surfaces that make up your TMJ can become misaligned. This misalignment may sometimes cause unusual sounds in the jaw when you’re talking or chewing. The sounds can come in the form of clicking, popping, or even grinding as you open and close your mouth.
The noise that accompanies jaw movements is not always as a result of TMJ disorder. Sounds in the jaw are common and usually harmless. However, when they are accompanied by pain or difficulty in moving the jaw, you should seek the help of your dentist.
3. Pain in the Face and Neck Areas
Pain in your face, neck, or jaw is one of the first symptoms of a TMJ disorder. Other pains that may be associated with a TMJ disorder include neck aches, backaches, and pain in the jaw that spreads to the cheeks and ears.
Buzzing or numbness in the ears most times comes with earaches, and this can be linked to TMJ disorder.
Find Solutions for your TMJ Headaches at Good Health Dental
If you’re experiencing anxiety and TMJ headache pain during these difficult times, you need not worry. Although Good health dental is closed to routine dental care during this time, Dr. Rose is equipped to help offer support and solutions even from a distance. Dr. Rose is a Solon dentist who takes a holistic approach to TMJ solutions and is here to support you in the most optimal way possible.