If you’ve ever experienced a tension headache, the source of the pain may surprise you. About 20 to 30 percent of the adult population suffers from TMJ (also called TMD), or temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome, a potentially painful dysfunction of the muscles that surround and move the jaw. TMJ is most often found to be chronic and can cause tension headaches, jaw pain, and a feeling that the teeth do not fit together properly. Sometimes, TMJ is severe enough to cause hearing loss, dizziness, or tinnitus, and can therefore be quite debilitating.
TMJ is most easily thought of as a number of symptoms, rather than a single condition, and treatment would therefore vary from person to person. Most physicians who treat TMJ agree that permanent dental alterations should be avoided, and treatment is therefore based on methods that do not make major changes. An ice pack or hot pack, medications to relieve inflammation, low-level laser therapy, or use of a mouth guard while sleeping are all possible methods of treatment.
If you’re experiencing tension headaches on a regular basis or consistent jaw pain, please make an appointment with one of our Ear Nose & Throat specialists, and let us help you seek relief from the pain you’ve become accustomed to feeling.