TMJ…A pain in my A**!

April 11, 2011

I get headaches all the time. Literally, I have a headache pretty much everyday. I finally figured out that my headaches come from TMJ which means Temporomandibular joint disorder. Basically, the pain in my jaw causes me to have headaches all the time. This is super annoying and plus I’m in constant pain. The national institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research suggests that over 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ. So if so many of us suffer from this intolerable pain, why do we put up with it?

I think the only reason I put up with this pain is because I’m so used to it at this point I just don’t really think about it anymore. However, I think it’s odd that I am in pain but because I’m used to it, I just let it be. I also know that I can’t be the only one who does this. Does this have some correlation to the American attitude that we must work hard and work through our pain? Perhaps but I am not sure. I have headaches so often that I forget what it is like to not have one. I also read that TMJ can be largely due in part to stress, but how do we de-stress ourselves in such a stressful world? Everything and everyone is constantly on the move so it is hard to find anytime to just relax.  Yet I feel like in order to cope with life and feel good you must learn to deal with your stress and that means treating your TMJ if you are like me. Currently, I don’t know the answer to my problem, maybe I’ll see an accupuncturist or a TMJ specialist. I already have seen a dentist and they gave me a mouth-gaurd to wear at night which I would spit out pretty much every night, so that never worked. I also started getting massages, thinking that may help but hasn’t too much, so now I think it’s time to see someone who specializes in this area. Hopefully at some point I will find my relief from chronic pain and headaches. Let me know if you have any information on TMJ and how to treat it or if you have had any personal success in treating yourself for TMJ. Thanks!



  1. Amber, I was diagnosed w/ TMJ when I was 12 and have tried many different treatments. Stress is definitely a key factor in flare-ups. I used to think I had an earache but it was my jaw. It can get better but it never totally goes away. Welcome to the club. (In class remind me to tell you about my latest treatment that has worked the best so far.) Miriam

    • Thanks Miriam, I’ll ask you in class b/c honestly it hurts so bad all the time. I’m in constant pain, pretty much to the point that I don’t even realize it anymore b/c it is so frequent. Pretty much it sucks, I researched and found a specialist here in town that I may go see, but I’m not too sure what to do. Just kind of sucks. I’ll ask you in class next time about what you did. Thanks!

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