Migraines can be a symptom of a lot of medical conditions and ailments. But can temporomandibular joint disorder, or also known as TMJ disorder cause migraines?

TMJ disorder can be caused by many things such as a hard impact from a blow to the face, particularly the sides of your face and jaw. Or it can also be caused by excessive use of the jaw, say you are chewing 5 gums. 

And in turn, TMJ disorder can cause other ailments to you such as chronic jaw pain and hearing loss. But can it cause migraines?

This article will discuss whether TMJ disorder can cause migraines, and other effects.

Can TMJ Cause Migraines?

Yes, TMJ disorder can indeed cause migraines. As was just mentioned, TMJ disorder can also cause headaches and other symptoms. 

Now how exactly does TMJ disorder cause headaches and migraines? There are a couple of explanations to this.

TMJ disorder can be provoked by excessive use of the jaw. 

Perhaps it can result from over chewing on tough foods like steak, overextending your jaw by opening your mouth. Chewing gum can be detrimental to your jaw health and be a catalyst for TMJ.

Well whatever the case may be, excessive use of the jaw can either cause TMJ disorders and migraines, or it can worsen your existing migraines and even cause TMJ disorders. 

Another cause behind TMJ disorder-related migraines is because you clench your jaw too much. Clenching your teeth is also known as bruxism

More on the Connection Between TMJ and Migraines

Bruxism can occur at any time of the day or night. Many people engage in teeth clenching subconsciously, when we are stressed, or during our sleep.

In the latter case, if you wake up and experience migraines, it may also be bruxism-related. However another underlying cause may be sleep apnea.

The symptoms of TMJ: jaw pain, clicking sounds, or restricted movement may in themselves be the source of your migraine. Jaw pain can conclusively cause migraines. 

TMJ disorder migraine may also be caused by other underlying conditions. This may include conditions such as osteoarthritis, joint hypermobility, or osteoporosis. 

Methods to Prevent TMJ Related Migraines 

There are a couple of ways in which you can prevent TMJ disorder migraines. One of them is to avoid certain tough foods and chewy candies and gums.

It is also best not to overstress, and when you catch yourself in a moment of stress, ensure that you do not have your jaw clenched. If it is, allow yourself to release.

Certain jaw exercises can help strengthen your jaw and relax it too. 

Here is a quick exercise to try:

  1. Keep your tongue pressed to the roof of your mouth
  2. Slowly open and close your mouth with your tongue pressed.
  3. Repeat a few times

This helps to strengthen the muscles around your jaw and may prevent the clicking from occurring.

Home remedies can serve as a treatment for your TMJ disorder. These include making a hot and cold compress for your jawline and your head.

Over-the-counter medications can also help in treating your TMJ disorder such as aspirin (Excedrin), ibuprofen (Advil), and naproxen (Aleve).

If your TMJ disorder and headache are frequently occurring and the treatments and remedies above are not working, then it is time to have the doctor take a look at it. Your doctor may prescribe certain treatments and therapy for your TMJ disorder headache.

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