A headache is defined as any diffuse pain that is perceived in different sites of the head. It may be acute or chronic. A headache is one of the most common maladies afflicting humans. In some cases, a headache signals a minor problem; in others, it indicates a serious concern. A headache may be a manifestation of an underlying disorder. For this reason, an individual who is complaining of a headache should not be degraded or carelessly treated with the prolonged use of analgesics, which may mask pain before the underlying cause of the headache is discovered.
Headaches are caused by irritation to one or more of the sensitive tissues and structures of the head and neck. These structures may include nerves, blood vessels, bone, cartilage, muscles, tendons, or any combination thereof.
Headaches are one of the most common and frequently reported symptoms in TMDs. Because they can be caused by numerous factors. It is important to gather a lot of pertinent information about these symptoms. The health care practitioner differentiates between the headaches that come as a result of a TMD, or a headache caused by other factors, keeping in mind that some headaches are what may be called mixed headaches, for which there is more than one obvious cause.
Hence, we in our office integrate the knowledge gained from the patient’s history, the clinical examination, and the use of diagnostic aids to establish a proper diagnosis and tailor a suitable treatment plan together with prescribing appropriate referral to other health care professionals when deemed necessary.


Facial Muscle or TMJ-Originated Headaches can be the result of one or more of the following:

  • Tension of the muscles of mastication and related structures.
  • Acute exacerbation of a chronic arthritic condition of the TMJ.
  • Laxity of mandibular ligaments, where the instability of the mandibular motion fatigues the muscles of mastication resulting in muscle tension.
  • Instability of the dental occlusion (bite), which can apply unfavorable forces on the associated structures leading to mechanical irritation of the craniomandibular structure and consequent pain.
  • Abnormal mandibular posture. This may be the result of incorrect dental articulation, skeletal misalignment, or changes in the head posture that may be due to cervical muscle dysfunction. Referred pain to the masseter and temporalis muscles may be originated from dysfunctional suboccipital or trapezius muscles.
  • A combination of these factors and situations. It has been reported that TMD-type headaches are more often associated with jaw dysfunction and head muscle tenderness than are migraine and tension-type headaches.

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