TMD Linked to Tension Headaches


A headache has its own way of bringing your life to a screeching halt. Whether triggered by stress, an illness, or some other factor, headaches can quickly send you to the cupboard for pain reliever or crashed on the couch.

Although we can’t avoid all headaches, all the time, there is a major headache culprit that can be treated – and it’s temporomandibular disorder (TMD). In fact, teeth clenching and grinding have been linked to tension headaches, so when you think stress alone brought on your pounding head, it could be more complicated than that.

Stress = More Grinding

Many people grind their teeth without even knowing it, and it’s well known in the medical community that stress can cause you to grind more frequently or grind harder. Not only can this lead to cracked teeth and worn enamel, but it will also make your TMD worse and cause jaw pain. Another undesirable result of stress: the grinding and TMD combined with your body’s stress response is a prime environment for a pounding tension headache.

At MedCenter TMJ, we know how stress can take its toll on the body. That’s why we make stress management a prime component of our patients’ treatment plans. Of course, a comprehensive TMD treatment plan also involves addressing the physical problems with the head, jaw, bite alignment, neck and back – but don’t discount the mental and emotional aspects of this disorder. Stress management is a big part of properly managing your TMD and helping you feel better overall.

In fact, reducing your daily stress levels helps your immune system and may reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression, digestive problems, asthma and more. We take stress management very seriously because we know it can help our patients lead healthier, happier lives. Also patients, who can manage their stress,  report that they feel great – and of course, get fewer, if any, tension headaches too.

Dealing With Headaches

In a perfect world, we would never get headaches. But unfortunately, they can happen to anyone, and often, at the most inopportune time. If you’re working hard to get your stress under control and are managing your TMD, that’s a big step in fighting your tension headaches. But if you find that you need pain medication for headaches twice a week or more, talk to a medical professional. Your headaches could be caused by another factor or you could even have migraine headaches. Taking pain medication too frequently can lead to rebound headaches or dependency.

Managing Stress, Reducing Headaches

Nearly anyone can learn effective and simple ways to manage stress and correct TMD. This can help you get to the root of your headaches and keep your jaw healthy too. To find out how MedCenter TMJ can help you with TMDand its related problems, contact our office today!


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