TMJ Headaches

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is a type of chronic pain that affects the teeth, jaw joints, and muscles used for chewing. People who suffer from TMJ may experience chronic headaches that range from mild discomfort to severe pain. 

TMJ headaches can be localized around the temples or occur throughout the entire head. They may also be accompanied by other symptoms of TMJ, such as jaw pain, earache, or dizziness. 

If you are experiencing headaches and jaw pain and would like to be evaluated for TMJ, then schedule an appointment with our expert neurologists at Virgin Islands Neurology. Our highly skilled healthcare professionals in the U.S. Virgin Islands will give you an accurate diagnosis and create a treatment plan so that you can find relief from pain.

A man needing TMJ treatment in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

What Is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder?

Temporomandibular joint disorder, commonly referred to as TMJ or TMD, is a disorder of the jaw muscles and joints that can cause significant pain and discomfort. The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the skull. This hinge-like joint allows us to open and close our mouth, as well as move it from side to side. 

TMJ issues can cause pain, tenderness, and limited movement of these structures. This disorder can also affect the tissues surrounding the area, including the ears and neck. It can be caused by injury to the jaw or face, misalignment of the teeth, stress, arthritis, or other medical conditions.

A patient discussing TMJ treatment with his doctor at Virgin Islands Neurology.

What Causes TMJ Headaches?

TMJ headaches are caused by temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, which affect the jaw joints. Headaches caused by TMJ can occur due to increased muscle tension in the face, neck, and head.

There are many factors thought to contribute to TMJ headaches. These include stress, trauma to the jaw, genetics, chewing gum for an extended period of time, clenching or teeth grinding (bruxism), and arthritis.

Symptoms of TMJ Headaches

There is a range of common symptoms that indicate a TMJ headache, including:

How Is TMJ Diagnosed?

Diagnosing temporomandibular disorders (TMD) begins with a comprehensive medical history and physical examination. During the medical history, your doctor will ask about any symptoms you’ve been experiencing and any previous treatments or injuries related to your temporomandibular joint.

The physical exam usually includes an evaluation of the neck, shoulders, mouth, and temporomandibular joints. Your doctor may also feel your jaw as you move it to help identify any pain or tenderness associated with the joint.

Your doctor may also order X-rays or other imaging tests of your temporomandibular joint to look for any abnormalities that could be contributing to your symptoms.

How Are TMJ Headaches Treated?

Treatment for TMJ headaches will depend on the underlying cause of your pain and may include lifestyle changes, muscle relaxants, or physical therapy.

There are a few methods that can be used to treat TMJ disorders. In most cases, TMJ can be managed with lifestyle changes, such as avoiding teeth grinding or clenching, practicing relaxation techniques, using over-the-counter pain relievers, and avoiding hard, chewy foods.

In more severe cases, medical treatments may be necessary to relieve symptoms, such as physical therapy, orthodontic treatment to correct teeth misalignment, TMJ injections, or surgery to repair a damaged jaw joint.

Find Headache Relief in the U.S. Virgin Islands

At Virgin Islands Neurology, we are dedicated to helping those experiencing TMJ headaches find relief from pain and discomfort. Our team of experienced doctors is committed to understanding your individual needs in order to provide the best possible solution for you.

We strive to provide the most up-to-date treatments and therapies so that you can successfully win the battle against TMJ disorders and TMJ headaches. Contact our office in the U.S. Virgin Islands today to schedule an appointment!