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Do you regularly experience grinding or clenching of your teeth, or have a sore throat or laryngitis without an infection? Are your back teeth feeling sore or loose? Do you often have trouble swallowing? If you experience chronic pain in the jaw joints (the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, made of muscles, bones, nerves and blood vessels attaching the lower jaw to the skull), you may have a TMJ disorder giving you TMJ-related headaches.


Chronic TMJ sufferers often experience headaches, and since these are no ordinary tension headaches, treating them as such won’t relieve the symptoms. TMJ pain must be addressed for relief. One major contributor to TMJ headaches is bruxism (grinding and clenching of the teeth), resulting in pain from the jaw muscles up to the temples that can feel dull, sharp or throbbing.

Malocclusion can also lead to TMJ headaches as bite misalignment strains the jaw and fatigues the muscles. TMJ-related issues – such as osteoporosis or osteoarthritis – can also leave you with a TMJ headache that is hard to ignore.

TMJ symptoms can include the following:

– An unstable bite
– The jaw locking open or shut
– Eye pain or light sensitivity
– Buzzing or ringing in the ear that may be accompanied by diminished hearing
– Vertigo or earaches
– Jaw clicking or popping
– Temple or forehead pain, sinus or cheek pain
– Even neck and shoulder pain

Relieving a TMJ headache starts with seeing a doctor to determine if it is TMJ-related and finding an effective treatment. It might include seeing a neurologist or ruling out things like MOH (medication overuse headache) from regularly taking headache pain medication.


Treating TMJ headaches are often approached using various conservative approaches and adjusted accordingly:

– Diet: Stick to soft foods and avoid hard, tough or chewy foods, like gum (switch to mints or mouthwash instead)
– Yawning: Avoid yawning widely, keep it small
– Stress Management: Manage stress with 30 minutes of daily exercise or a yoga or meditation class
– Massage: Gently massage the TMJ muscles to stimulate blood flow and lessen jaw inflammation and pain, or do some gentle jaw exercises
– Ice/Heat: Place ice or heat packs on the painful area
– Medications: Take medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, or prescription options like muscle relaxers or antidepressants (only take as prescribed)
– Mouthguard: Wear a bite guard/stabilization splint to protect your teeth
-Injections: Look into injections like arthrocentesis (where fluid is injected into the affected joint) or BOTOX
– Surgery: Have TMJ arthroscopy (a minimally invasive surgery where the jaw joint and inflamed tissue may be removed or the joint adjusted)

If you are seeking relief from TMJ headaches, please reach out to our team. We are committed to helping you find the relief you deserve today!