TMJ Headache Treatment Michigan Doctor John Halmaghi   TMJ Headache Doctor John Halmaghi is the Michigan Migraine Headache Pain treatment specialist for various forms of craniofacial pain, migraine pain, jaw and neck pain, craniomandibular pain, temporomandibular pain
Migraine Pain TMJ Dysfunction Pain Headache Diagnosis Headache Pain Cures

Neuromuscular Pain Symptoms

Michigan Headache TMJ Doctor

Anesthetic Failure

Many people have experienced episodes at a dental office when a tooth wouldn't get numb after several injections.

One of the biggest problems we face with patients who have jaw compression problems is the fact that we cannot numb them for dental treatment. We also experience an unusual amount of complications following treatment. The muscular dysfunction causes so much compression of the fascia, nerves, and muscle fibers that it is impossible to get anesthetic to the nerve to numb it.

There also seems to be a lot of acid buildup in the muscles, which neutralizes the anesthetic and renders it useless. Some of our patients have such overworked muscles that it is sometimes very hard to pass the needle through the tissues and muscles, because they are so hard. Now you know why many of your dental visits may have been so disastrous.

Phantom Toothache

Many of these patients also experience the 'phantom' weird toothache. Normally, nothing is found on the x-rays and examination, yet the patient insists that a tooth must be pulled or root canaled.

The intense pressure and stress that an individual tooth experiences from jaw compression is tremendous. The root of each tooth is coated with shock-absorbing ligaments that become strained and bruised. This is very distressing to the teeth and they respond by being temperature sensitive and aching. They are trying to tell you that something is wrong, even though an x-ray of that tooth will look normal.

Push on any of your teeth with one of your fingers for about 20 minutes. Let go, and you'll see how that tooth begins to ache. This is exactly what happens when intense clenching occurs.

Neck Pain

Some patients have headaches that originate primarily from the back of their necks. Jaw compression engages these neck muscles. The lower jaw positions slightly forward, pressing the lower front teeth into the backside of the upper front teeth.

This type of activity puts a tremendous strain on the neck muscles. The neck muscles are trying to pull the head back to keep it erect because the forward jaw-thrusting makes the head want to tilt forward. The constant strain on the neck muscles results in the headache felt at the back of the neck radiating up the back of the skull.

The shift in blood flow from the external carotid also causes an increase in blood flow to the occipital blood vessels in the back of your neck. This shift of blood flow is like a flooded river breaking its banks. It reaps havoc to the local community!

Sensitive or Ringing Ears

How come our ears feel so weird? Put your little finger in your ear while opening and closing your mouth. Now move your jaw from side to side. You can feel a lot of action in there! The over-activity of your jaw makes your ear canal sensitive.

Excess wax can be produced, as the body tries to protect itself. The ear has two important muscles: the tensor tympani (it attaches to the ear drum, and stabilizes it from the excess vibration caused by loud sounds) and the tensor levi palatini (it attaches to the Eustachian tube, and helps to open and close the tube, thereby equalizing pressure within the inner is what "unplugs" your ears as you chew gum in an airplane).

Over activity of these muscles can sometimes cause a ringing sensation, called tinnitus. It is not unusual for the patient with compression problems to complain of ringing in their ears, or vertigo. The tensor tympani and tensor levi palatini are tensed whenever the jaw-closing muscles are tensed.

The Sinus Headache

The lateral pterygoid muscle attaches at one end to the top end of the jawbone. The other end attaches to the walls of the nasal passages. Frequently, when a lateral pterygoid muscle becomes dysfunctional, it will cause pressure and pain in and around the nasal passages and sinuses. This is what is called a sinus headache.

The patient may get sinus pressure, or a runny nose. A visit to the sinus specialist, for a special x-ray, reveals nothing particularly wrong with their sinuses. Antibiotic therapy rarely resolves the condition.

The patient is convinced, however, that there is definitely a problem with the sinuses. The patient maintains this conviction by observing that they do get some relief from sinus headache medications. What they fail to realize is that sinus headache remedies are simply pain medications with added decongestants.

Ocular Migraine Pain

There is a little muscle called the SPHENOMANDIBULARIS, which attaches just behind the eye, and is responsible for the "ocular" migraine. It's all part of the same overactive muscle complex. Now you know why your new glasses and five visits to the ophthalmologist did not accomplish very much.

Accidents and Trauma

Physical trauma to the neck can cause headaches. It is crucial to receive the proper medical evaluation from a team of physicians who can ascertain possible disk or vertebral abnormalities. If no fractures or disk problems are found, then a diagnosis of muscular tension can be concluded.

The cervical sympathetic ganglia (a group of neurons from the sympathetic nervous system within the neck) has been shown to cause and maintain jaw and neck muscle contraction. Again, the muscles try to protect the underlying body parts. If the dysfunction is not treated properly, the pain and headaches may continue indefinitely. If there is underlying disk or vertebral damage, treatment must still be aimed at muscular relaxation in order to promote adequate and proper healing.

Contact Dr. Halmaghi's staff at to obtain any additional information you may need for utilizing our evaluation service.

Michigan TMJ/Headache Institute

Practice Limited to Headache, Migraine, TMJ, Facial Pain, and Sleep Disorder
Dr. John Halmaghi
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