Effective TMJ Headache Treatments in Melbourne

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What is TMJ?

TMJ stands for the special joints that link your jaw to your head, sitting right by your ears. These are super important because they let you open and close your mouth, move your jaw from side to side, and even push it forward or pull it back. This means you can talk, eat, and yawn thanks to these joints. Isn’t it amazing how our bodies work to help us do even the simple things every day?

However, headaches can actually be a sign of problems with your jaw joint, which we call temporomandibular disorders, or TMD for short. It’s not just about headaches, though. If you’re dealing with TMD, you might notice other signs too. As someone who deeply cares about helping you feel better, I want you to know we’re here to look out for all these symptoms, not just the obvious ones, so we can get to the bottom of what’s really going on and help you find relief.

  • Jaw pain and tenderness
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Limited jaw movement
  • Clicking or popping sounds in the jaw

If you’re experiencing some of these symptoms along with your headache, it’s worth mentioning to your doctor or dentist. They can help diagnose the cause of your headache and determine if TMJ is a possibility.

TMJ Centre Melbourne is conveniently located in the heart of Melbourne, Victoria.

How TMJ Can Lead to Headaches

  1. Muscle Tension
    Because the muscles around your TMJ extend up into your head, tension or inflammation in these muscles—often from issues like teeth grinding or jaw misalignment—can send pain shooting into your head, much like how a sore shoulder might make your neck and upper back hurt.
  2. TMJ Joint
    Inflammation / irritation in the TMJ joint itself can cause headaches. If there’s something wrong inside the joint, like arthritis or the cushioning disc slipping out of place, it can irritate the nerves in the joint and this can then cause referred pain, resulting in headaches.

This connection between TMJ issues and headaches highlights how problems in one part of your body can affect other areas, underscoring the importance of addressing TMJ dysfunction for overall well-being.

How to know if Your Headaches Caused by TMJ

  • Located in the temples, around the ears, in the sinuses / cheeks.
  • Dull and aching, but can sometimes be throbbing
  • Worsened by clenching the jaw or chewing
  • TMJ headaches can often mimic tension type headaches and sinus headaches.

Dealing with TMJ headaches

Dealing with TMJ headaches involves several straightforward steps.

  • Taking common pain relief pills like acetaminophen (found in Paracetamol) or ibuprofen (found in Nurofen) can help ease the pain and swelling. Sometimes, doctors might also recommend muscle relaxers or specific antidepressants to help relax the jaw and manage pain better.

But medication is just one part of the solution.

  • A combination of custom made orthotics to help relax the jaw muscles and take stress off the jaw joints and physical therapy can make a big difference. Sometimes muscle relaxant injections can be of benefit.

In my experience, using all these treatments together can really help people feel better and get back to their normal activities.


Why finding an experienced TMJ specialist in Melbourne is important

Accurate Diagnosis

Sometimes, TMJ issues can look a lot like other problems, and someone who’s not as experienced might not catch the real reason behind your jaw pain. A practitioner specialising in TMJ, how it works, and what can go wrong will be much better at identifying the issue and helping you get the right treatment.

Effective Treatment Options

Treating TMJ can involve different methods, ranging from simple changes in your daily habits to using custom made orthotics to help relax the jaw muscles and take stress off the jaw joints , or even more involved treatments. A practitioner with lots of experience will know about all the newest ways to handle TMJ problems and can come up with a treatment plan that’s just right for you, taking into account how severe your condition is and what you specifically need. This expert approach means you’ll get the most effective help available to improve your situation.

Reduced Risk of Complications

While it is rare for treatments to cause issues, an expert who is truly knowledgeable is less likely to encounter these complications. They are familiar with all the treatment steps and understand how to avoid or manage any potential problems. This expertise not only makes your treatment safer but also ensures that everything proceeds smoothly.

Improved Long-Term Outcomes

TMJ issues can persist for an extended period and may require ongoing care. An experienced expert can devise a plan that addresses your current symptoms while also preventing future problems. Their expertise ensures you are more likely to experience lasting relief and improved overall jaw health.

Learn More about TMJ Headaches

do headaches occur with tmj?

Do headaches occur with TMJ?

Unfortunately most dentists and GPs have been trained to think that the only headaches that can occur as part of TMJ / TMD is temple headaches due to clenching. TMJ can cause headaches but there are many different reasons. The Temporalis muscles (located in the temple regions) are recruited during clenching and so the assumption […]

why does tmj cause headaches?

Why does TMJ cause headaches?

In a previous blog I discussed how TMJ can cause tension type, sinus type headaches and migraines. In this blog I want to discuss some of the mechanisms that occur with TMJ / TMD that can cause these types of headaches. These can be attributed to the following, Neuroanatomy and trigeminovascular physiology Postural adaptation due […]

What is the best treatment for TMJ headaches?

What is the best treatment for TMJ headaches?

In our blog, Do headaches occur with TMJ?, we looked at how TMJ headaches can mimic tension and sinus type headaches as well as migraines. In that blog we also addressed how many dentists and GPs are trained to associate only tension headaches with TMJ pain, and why this is problematic. We then followed it […]

Simple Lifestyle Changes to Combat with TMJ Headaches

Making some simple changes to your daily habits can really help with TMJ headaches.

  • Firstly, learning how to relax is key. Stress can make your jaw pain worse, so doing things like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing can help your jaw muscles chill out.
  • Applying warm, moist heat to your jaw for about 15-20 minutes can make the muscles relax and feel better, while putting ice on your jaw for the same amount of time can reduce swelling and pain, especially after doing something that makes your TMJ act up.
  • Eating softer foods can also take some pressure off your jaw as it gets better.
  • Keeping a good posture all day can help keep your jaw muscles from getting too tight.
  • Lastly, try to stay away from really chewy foods like gum or tough candy, as they can make your jaw pain worse. Stick to easier-to-eat foods to help your jaw heal.