Chronic headache linked to TMJ disorders
Both headaches and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD or TMJ) pain are common health complaints. Recent studies have observed a relationship between tension-type or migraine headaches and TMD. However, little research has been done to investigate the link between chronic daily headaches and TMD.
A team of researchers recently sought to identify the frequency and severity of temporomandibular disorder among people with chronic headaches. The study involved 60 adults with either chronic daily headache, episodic headache, or no headache. Participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding the most common TMD complaints.
The researchers found that signs of TMD were more frequent and more severe in participants with headaches. In particular, reports of pain in the TMJ area were significantly more frequent in patients with either episodic or chronic daily headache. This co-occurrence may suggest a common cause for both types of pain, or that one condition leads to the other, although more research must be done to investigate this potential.
Mello CEB, Oliveira JLG, et al. Temporomandibular disorders in headache patients. Medicina Oral Patologia Oral y Cirugia Bucal 2012; doi:10.4317/medoral.18007.