How to Deal with a TMJ Headache

Here at Picasso Smiles, we know no one wants a headache. When addressing any kind of physical pain, it’s important to correctly identify what the source of the pain is and how to most appropriately address it. In the case of pain in your temporomandibular joint, or TMJ pain, many people mistake this pain for a common headache. It’s important to know the difference so that you can know how to most appropriately address your pain in order to get relief as soon as possible. Feel free to contact our Picasso Smiles dentists with any questions via our office in Culver City.

Specific Signs of a TMJ Headache

Your standard headache or migraine may initially bear a few things in common with TMJ pain, but a TMJ headache stems specifically from pain along your jaw that causes additional pain throughout your face, head, and neck. Keep an eye out for the following symptoms that indicate that you are likely experiencing TMJ-related pain instead of a simple headache:

  • Aching ear pain
  • Difficulty chewing or unusual pain while eating
  • Radiating pain from the jaw
  • Jaw joint locking or crackling/grinding when moved
  • Excessive pain or tenderness in the jaw

TMJ headaches are unlikely to cause specific headache and migraine symptoms like nausea or sensitivity to light and sound, but they can occasionally trigger migraines if you are prone to having them. This is one of the many reasons why it’s important to address TMJ pain as soon as possible, either by reaching out to your Picasso Smiles Dental team or trying one of the following recommendations.

Handling TMJ Pain

Address the Source

TMJ pain is often misdiagnosed as simply a tension headache. While this may not be entirely accurate, they both can have a common trigger: stress. Address any causes of anxiety by incorporating more therapeutic activities throughout your regular schedule, such as exercise, journaling, meditation, or professional help in the Los Angeles area.

Adjust Your Oral Care Habits

A good oral hygiene is important for a wide range of health benefits, and making a few adjustments can help alleviate TMJ pain. If you’ve been chewing gum on a regular basis, this may be prompting or exacerbating your TMJ pain. Choose mints or a more rigorous mouthwash if bad breath is a concern.

Take A Pain Reliever

Over the counter pain relievers can help bring down inflammation and pain before they become too severe. Be sure to follow all included medication instructions or reach out to your Picasso Smiles dentist if you have any questions or concerns.

Give Yourself a Massage

Beyond taking an over the counter pain reliever, you can physically help reduce pain and inflammation by softly kneading the area around your jaw to increase blood flow. Focus on the TMJ itself, where your jaw connects, and massage gently with a few fingers.

Seek Professional Help

If symptoms have not subsided in some time or in cases where you have extreme difficulty opening and closing your mouth, we’d highly suggest that you contact our Picasso Smiles Dental team in Culver City as soon as possible to prevent more long-term damage.

Reach Out To Picasso Smiles Today!

Picasso Smiles is proud to offer a wide range of dental services and procedures. Contact us at any time and we’ll be happy to get you the help and information. Schedule an appointment with Picasso Smiles today to start improving your dental and overall health! Our team can’t wait to support you and your loved ones on your way to a happier, healthier smile.

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