Headache and Temporomandibular Disorders (TMDs)

Headache and tempromandibular disorders (TMDs) are among the most common complaints in the general population. The considerable overlap of symptoms in the patients suffering from headache and TMDs, suggests that tempromandibular structures can cause headache or the headache may refer pain to the masticatory muscles and tempromandibular structures. Nevertheless, TMD is too often overlooked as an etiological factor in headache.

TMD is a term applied to clinical problems involving the muscles of mastication, the tempromandibular joint (TMJ) and associated structures, or both. TMJ pain is reported in 10% of the population and TMD may occur in 46% of the US population making TMDs significant contributors to pain in the face and head region.

Headache is among one of the most common TMD symptoms and migraine is the most common primary headache diagnosis this population.

Headache prevalence is reported to be higher in a TMD population. Therefore, the TMJ and associated orofacial structures must be considered as possible perpetuating or triggering factors for headaches.

When TMD and headache are present, a better treatment outcome is achieved by a careful examination of TMJ and associated structures as well as effective TMD pain management. Treating only one of the disorders will result in suboptimal therapeutic outcomes

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