Headache is a major, common neurological problem and is the main reason for decreased work
performance, life quality and it is associated with behavioral disturbances. The relationship of
headaches and temporomandibular disorders is proven by numerous studies. We tend to think of oral
cavity as of an autonomous organ with the main function of chewing the food and we barely connect it
with the pain in the temples, neck or shoulders. Blaming a stressful job, relationship or business project
is a simple choice when we end up during the day with a headache or migraine . And all we do, is to take
But when the pain becomes regular, painkillers are not the best choice. We just mask the symptoms,
without treating the cause.
It is useful for our readers to mention google definition for following terms as they will be mentions
Temporomandibular joint (abbreviation TMJ) – there is one on each side and they attach your jaw to the
bottom of your skull.
Temporomandibular disorder (abbreviation TMD) – the term covers pain in dysfunction of the muscles
or anatomical structures of TMJ.
After clarifying these terms we can go ahead and explain the correlation of the last one with the
- Clenching and grinding can elicit pain in the face , headache occurring specifically in the temples
- Missing teeth , from one side or bilateral can change the bite that projects in the TMJ and the
result is a headache
- Misaligned teeth produce a wrong bite that again tenses the facial muscles and TMJ
- Dental traumas. An exciting game in childhood associated with a bad fall on the face can have
consequences in the future.
- Ectopic tooth, means tooth that erupts in other head anatomical site than oral cavity, for example in the sinus or nose.
The first person who can detect and confirm TMD is your dentist. Regular checkups involve not only
caries detection and professional dental cleaning but also the way how you open your mouth, if any
clicking sounds or pain are present, deviations of the mandible to the right or left, etc. If the headaches
are not of dental/ TMJ origin, the dentist has to refer you to a specialist neurologist or ENT specialist (incase your sinuses are not clean).
- Orthodontic treatment
- Prosthetic treatment
- Patient education
Ignoring the headaches/migraines, toping up your liver with strong painkillers is not a healthy
way of living. Do not let it control your life !