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Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain and the TMJ syndrome are common problems that occur usually in younger adults and can mimic a chronic headache. Pain can be felt in the jaw just in front of the ear, or it may be felt over the side of the face and head, and then extend to the neck. The pain is often constant and worse with chewing, and there may be a sensation of cracking in the jaw when the mouth is opened. Pain may limit the opening of the jaw, or the jaw may move to one side when it is opened.
Pain radiating to the face and jaw can be seen with several conditions. It may be related to trigeminal neuralgia, temporal arteritis, post-herpetic neuralgia, temporomandibular joint disorder and sinusitis.
A headache that's accompanied by pain in your jaw and facial muscles may be brought on by temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ. This condition occurs in the joint that connects the jaw to the side of the head. People who have TMJ frequently complain of headaches as well as pain in their facial muscles. Other symptoms can include a clicking or popping sound in the jaw, or stiffness in the jaw.
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