TMD and Headaches FAQs

Our previous post explained the connection between temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder and neck pain. A TMJ disorder (TMD) causes soreness throughout the upper body, and can negatively impact your shoulders, upper back, and ears. Although a headache could come from an ear infection, TMJ may be the reason for your headaches and pains. When you hear a popping in your jaw, talk to your dentist to discover how to avoid headaches and other pains caused by TMD. In this article, cosmetic dentist Dr. James Fondriest explains TMD-caused headaches, and how to treat them.


Q: What causes TMD?

A: TMD has from several causes. Because of the crucial role the temporomandibular joints play in oral function, you might think that they should withstand a fair amount of abuse. Sustaining a chin injury could misalign your bite. A missing tooth or unevenly worn teeth from teeth grinding can also negatively affect your jaw. Stressors like teeth grinding (bruxism) or jaw clenching can unbalance the joint. Irritated nerves from unbalanced joints transmit pain from the joint to surrounding areas.

Q: What symptoms signal TMD?

A: Pain from TMD can course down the entire area around, and causing a headache, from your temple to your shoulder. TMD can cause headaches, tinnitis, and dizziness. Dr. Fondriest can provide TMD therapy to treat a number of issues, like teeth sensitive to cold or trouble chewing. Other than jaw, neck, back, and ear pain, TMD can also contribute to a shallower bite and gum recession.

Q: How can I treat TMD?

A: Seeking treatment early when symptoms of TMD appear can help to relieve problems before they worsen and become painful. Dr. Fondriest can prescribe a fitted nightguard to prevent damage from jaw clenching and teeth grinding at night. For more advanced cases of TMD, you may need dental restorations or a more comprehensive therapy treatment. Dr. Fondriest’s TMD training from the L.D. Pankey Institute, one of the world’s foremost research and treatment centers for TMD, equips him with the knowledge to best help you.

Learn more about TMJ and Headaches

Dr. Fondriest offers his TMD therapy training to patients to relieve pain from a TMJ disorder. Call our office at (847) 234-0517 to schedule an appointment. We welcome patients from Lake Forest and North Shore suburbs near Chicago.