Another tension headache? The cause could be temporomandibular joint (TMJ), a very common problem which causes about 90% of all tension headaches. Symptoms from TMJ include clicking sounds from the jaw joint when it is opened and closed and facial pain. If you are experiencing these issues see your dentist, they are trained to diagnose and treat TMJ problems.
Some of the reasons why TMJ related stress and tension can develop:
- Grinding of the teeth at night causing an imbalance in the musculature of the joint.
- Conscious and/or unconscious stress will continually contract the muscles of the face and jaw during the day.
- A concussion or impact injury to the area can cause TMJ issues.
The jaw or temporomandibular joint is a complex structure made up of bones, muscles, connective tissue and nerve fibers. Pain and clicking sounds from TMJ occur when a patient’s bite is not properly aligned putting additional stress on the muscles surrounding the joint, other facial muscles, muscles of the head as well as the neck. If one piece in the structure becomes misaligned clicking and pain will ensue causing the entire area to suffer.
In addition, constant clenching or grinding your teeth will cause extra blood flow to the area. This will cause an increase in blood pressure to the area and contribute to TMJ tension headaches also known as vascular headaches.
Because TMJ headaches can be frequent and severe, they may be diagnosed and treated as a migraine headache. Be aware that migraine headaches are usually caused by hormonal or chemical imbalances while vascular headaches result from muscular tension.
If you are suffering from tension headaches, be conscious of any facial pain issues you may be experiencing. The cause could be TMJ and a visit to your dentist may be just the solution you need.