TMJ sufferers know that painful headaches are a common symptom of the condition. These headaches can result from tension in the jaw, as well as teeth grinding, but solutions are available to you that will enable you to live a better, pain-free life. Our highly skilled and experienced doctors are experts in treating neuromuscular conditions and are eager to help you feel your best. Below, they detail key headache triggers to be aware of.
Understanding Your Symptoms
When it comes to TMJ headaches, you have to know what activities can contribute to the condition to reduce your risk of developing a headache. Additionally, it is important to understand the symptoms that are often experienced alongside TMJ headaches, including:
- Tight feeling in the jaw or face
- Ache near the ears and in the face
- Trouble chewing
- Jaw pain and tenderness
- Jaw locking
- Reduced range of motion in the jaw
Hard, chewy foods take extra effort to chew. When you are already in pain from TMJ, eating these foods can put additional stress on the jaw and trigger a tension headache. Instead, opt for foods that do not require extra chewing or overworking the jaw. You may want to steer clear of foods such as:
- Hard candies
- Soft, chewy candy, such as taffy
- Crunchy potato chips
- Crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as apples or raw carrots
Stress can significantly impact many parts of the body and can even worsen your TMJ symptoms and lead to headaches. This is because when we are stressed out, it is common to resort to coping mechanisms such as nail biting and jaw clenching, both of which can create tension in the jaw. To manage stress and reduce the chance of headaches, consider exploring other coping mechanisms when stressed that do not cause further pain or discomfort to the body. Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, can be helpful in many cases.
Certain forms of exercise can result in what is known as an exertion headache. Coupled with the fact that many people tend to clench their jaws when working out, it is easy to see how a TMJ-related headache could form under these conditions. If you are prone to headaches, it may be useful to trade rigorous exercise for activities that will not increase your TMJ pain.
Schedule Your TMJ Appointment in New Jersey
It is difficult managing your life around TMJ, but this does not have to be your permanent reality. TMJ relief is available to you at Headache & TMJ Center of New Jersey. To book your appointment, contact our office today, or use our online form to get started.