Can TMJ cause Migraines?

Health Professional

Full Question:

Hi, I've been suffering from terrible migraines, chest pain, back pain, pain in my upper jaw, and neck pain. I know I have terrible TMJ, and I was wondering if TMJ could cause migraines?

I am on an anti-anxiety pill that I take before bedtime, but the migraines continue and I know I'm still grinding my teeth. Last night, my migraine was so bad I couldn't fall asleep, almost vomited, and was in intense pain when I touched my face, neck, or jaw.

If TMJ can produce migraines, what can I do to stop it? Also, after having a horrible migraine, is it normal to feel extreme weakness and fatigue the next day?

Thanks so much, Alicia.


Dear Alicia;

TMJ can definitely be a Migraine trigger, a physical factor that brings on a Migraine attack. TMJ should be treated, both to help alleviate any Migraines it may be triggering for you and to stop it's progression and any other health issues it may cause you. Your dentist should be able to refer you to someone who can help you with treatment of TMJ. You can also find helpful information from the TMJ association. Their web site is

However, some of your other symptoms are concerning and need to be discussed with your doctor. Chest pain is not generally associated with Migraines or TMJ. It can be associated with anxiety, but only your doctor can tell you if that's what's causing it for YOU. Please do check in with your doctor.

Good luck,
John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert

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Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.

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