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Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMJ Headaches

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)

It was only in the most recent decade that mainstream physicians have accepted the temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ syndrome, as a problem that can cause headaches. Initially this resistance toward accepting TMJ as a headache cause may be due to the absence of abnormalities on diagnostic tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Grinding or clenching of the teeth (bruxism) at night and gum chewing are symptoms that are often found with people who have TMJ.

Generally, the headache pain is in the temporal region and also in the jaw area itself. However, an advanced TMJ syndrome may actually lead to severe difficulties in chewing and in speaking.

This type of headache syndrome associated with TMJ responds well to splints, medication, and physical therapy. Severe TMJ syndromes may require surgeries which unfortunately rarely succeed in helping to take care of the problem