Do Your Headaches Stem From A TMJ Disorder?

dhdEveryone suffers from a headache at some point in their lives. Even children get headaches, although they may not be able to explain what they are. If you are getting frequent headaches, have you ever considered that they may be coming from a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder? Headaches are a major symptom of TMJ disorders. Eighty percent of headaches are caused by muscular tension and that tension can be coming from your jaw or facial muscles. In fact, headaches can stem from other dental issues as well. Do you have a dental headache? Do your headaches stem from a TMJ disorder?

What Is Causing Your Headache?

Have you ever heard of a dental headache? No, it’s not the fact that you need filling or a root canal, although the thought of them may give you a headache. Dental headaches stem from tense muscles in your face and jaw. Your muscles tighten and tighten and eventually cause pain in your head and sometimes your neck and shoulders, too. These are the types of headaches that dentists treat because they tend to be the result of chronic bruxing (clenching and grinding your teeth), malocclusion (a misaligned bite), or a temporomandibular joint disorder.

  • Bruxing: When your face and jaw muscles are contracted for long periods as they are during bruxing, it can result in pain in your jaw, face muscles, neck, and head.
  • Malocclusion: If the chewing surfaces of your teeth do not meet properly when you bite down then you have a bad bite or malocclusion. This can cause undue strain on your jaw muscles for two reasons 1) your teeth are not supposed to touch when your mouth is closed. However, with a bad bite they may. This puts stress and pressure on your facial muscles and jaw joint 2) your masticatory system tries to compensate for your bad bite, causing stress on all components.
  • TMJ: Any problem relating to the face and jaw muscles can be considered a TMJ disorder. TMJ disorders have many symptoms which include: worn down teeth, chewing issues, biting issues, stiff jaw, painful jaw, limited jaw movements, facial pain, clicking or popping jaw joint, neck ache, shoulder pain, plugged up ear, ear pain, headaches and migraines.


With over 25 years of professional experience, Dr. Steven M. Huffstutler and his caring team proudly provide exceptional preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental treatment to patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth, including North Richland Hills, Denton, the Mid-cities, Southlake, and all surrounding communities. We also have extensive experience helping patients find relief from painful TMJ disorders (various forms of jaw dysfunction). To schedule an appointment with Dr. Huffstutler, contact his Fort Worth, TX office today by calling 817-918-3038.