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Primary Headaches are classified as:

  • Migraines with or without Aura

  • Tension-Type Headaches

  • Chronic Daily Headaches

  • Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalalgia (TAC)

  • Cluster Headaches


Patient’s suffering from Headaches (migraines, chronic daily headaches, tension type headaches) can also be affected by TMJ Disorder (TMD).


The definition of Comorbid is:  existing simultaneously with and usually independently of another medical condition (


There are several comorbidities that increase the risk of headaches:

  • TMJ Disorders (TMD)

  • Snoring

  • Sleep Apnea

  • Other:  Obesity, Stressful life events, Psychiatric comorbidity


Individuals with TMJ Disorders were more likely to have migraines, chronic daily headaches, and tension-type headaches as compared to individuals without TMJ Disorder symptoms according to Dr. Gonçalves (2010) large study of 1,230 individuals who were surveyed for the comorbidity of headaches (migraines, chronic daily headaches and tension type headaches).

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The AMPP (American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention) did a study on the 1-year evolution of migraine (Lipton 2007).  The results showed that over a 1 year period:

  • 84% still had a migraine

  • 10% had 1-year complete clinical remission

  • 3% had partial remission,

  • 3% developed chronic migraines (15 or more days per month)


Temporomandibular disorders and headaches should be treated together but separately according to Dr. Graff-Radford (Director of the Program for Headache and Orofacial Pain at the Pain Center at Cedars-Sinai) and Dr.  JP Bassiur (Director of the Center for Oral, Facial, and Head Pain at the Columbia University Headache Center).  According to their article, they wrote “If there is marked limitation of opening, imaging of the joint may be necessary.

The treatment should then include education regarding limiting jaw function, appliance therapy, instruction in jaw posture, and stretching exercises, as well as medications to reduce inflammation and relax the muscles. The use of physical therapies, such as spray and stretch and trigger point injections, is helpful if there is myofascial pain.”

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  • Gonçalves D. A. G., Bigal M. E., Jales L. C. F., Camparis C. M., Speciali J. G. Headache and symptoms of temporomandibular disorder: an epidemiological study: research submission. Headache. 2010;50(2):231–241.

  • Graff-Radford, Steven & Bassiur, Jennifer. (2014). Temporomandibular Disorders and Headaches. Neurologic clinics. 32. 525-537.

  • Lipton RB, Bigal ME, Diamond M, Freitag F, Reed ML, Stewart WF. Migraine prevalence, disease burden, and the need for preventive therapy. Neurology. 2007;68:343‐349.

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