Can Headphones Cause TMJ? Does this make sense?

Some people experience discomfort after wearing headsets for a while. Naturally, this causes people to wonder whether or not wearing headphones can be harmful. Because of my job now, headphones have become my routine. I have not only good experiences but also bad ones about using headphones. So, Can Headphones Cause TMJ?

Tidbit: What Does TMJ Mean? TMJ stands for temporomandibular Joint. The temporomandibular joint combines the jawbone and the skull, allowing movement. The TMJ acts like a sliding hinge, connecting my jawbone to my skull. I have one joint on each side of my jaw.

In this guide, I will teach you why my headphones cause TMJ. With the help of this guide, I also help you to find the answer you are looking for. I have written this article about the relationship between TMJ disorders and using headphones. Firstly, I will look at what TMJ disorders are, and then I shall come up with some helpful advice you should listen to.

Can wearing headphones make TMJ worse?

Earbuds made from harder material can press against the bone and the front of the ear canal or the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The presence of a hard earbud in that area pressing against the jaw joint causes people to get ear pain, TMJ pain, and headaches.

How Can Headphones Cause TMJ Disorders?

Unfortunately, headphones and other earbuds are one of the causes of TMJ disorders. That is because they can put pressure on my ears and cause me to clench my jaw muscles unconsciously. It happens because the noise will get to me if I don’t clamp my jaw shut.

Since earbuds go inside my ear canal, there are two possible ways for them to cause TMJ disorders. Firstly, headphones or earbuds can pressure my ears and make it difficult for me to open my mouth fully. One symptom of this is clenching my teeth while sleeping.

Secondly, headphones and earbuds can unconsciously pressure my ears and cause me to clench my jaw muscles. It leads to a TMJ disorder over time. Wearing headsets for a long time can cause damage if I listen to loud music. If you are worried about the harm caused by headphones, I have some advice.

Best Headphones for TMJ:


7 Best Headphones for TMJ – Complete Review

Use Your Headphones Wisely

It is essential to know how to use your listening devices properly. Here are a few things you should do:

  1. Be mindful of where you place the headphone jack when putting in and taking out your headphones, especially if you have a smartphone case with a built-in card slot. 
  2. Use a headset with earbuds that rest on or around your ears when using a headset. Keep your ears safe by watching where you place them. 
  3. Don’t use headphones while lying flat on your back or side.
  4. Use headphones when exercising; ensure not to put excessive pressure on them.

Buy Higher Quality Headphones

The better quality headphones have, the more work has gone into making them fit my head perfectly. Headphones should not cause any pressure on my head, ears, or TMJ, making high-quality headphones an excellent solution to this problem.

Don’t Turn The Volume To Max

It is important to remember that listening to music at a high volume can damage my ears and TMJ whenever I am using headphones. Over time, this can lead to hearing loss and an increased risk of ear infections. At the same time, the higher I turn up the volume on my headset or earbuds I will put on, the more pressure on my ears and jaw.

Can Wearing Headphones Cause Jaw Pain?

Wearing tight earbuds or headphones for extended periods can cause pain and damage my jaw joints. Our jaws sit just next to the ear canal. The pain from the jaw can sometimes feel like a sharp pain in my ear.

Some of the Most Common Causes of TMJ Disorders

The exact cause of a person’s TMJ disorder is often difficult to determine. If I share my personal experience, my pain is often due to a combination of factors, such as genetics, arthritis, or jaw injury. Here are some most common causes of TMJ disorder.


I feel stressed; my jaw muscles contract and tighten up, causing joint dysfunction and pain.

Teeth Clenching or Grinding

Unfortunately, many people have problems with their teeth when they sleep because they grind them. It is known as bruxism. I also have an issue of teeth clenching whenever I sleep or tense up. So this is one of the reasons for TMJ disorder.

Medical Conditions

Such as arthritis or stroke. When other parts of my body are damaged, they can also affect the temporomandibular joint. In this way, I suffer from TMJ disorder.

All of these issues can cause pain and possibly difficulty opening my mouth. It may be a TMJ disorder if I experience problems with my jaw joint or jaw muscles.

Sometimes the leading cause is excessive strain on the jaw joints and the muscle group that controls chewing, swallowing, and speech. This strain may be a result of bruxism. It is the chronic, involuntary clenching or grinding of the teeth, but trauma to the jaw, the head, or the neck may cause TMD.

How I Cure My TMJ Naturally?

Here are eight ways in which I can help relieve pain in my TMJ and manage symptoms without surgery:

  1. Maintain the resting position of my jaw. 
  2. Correct my posture. 
  3. Get a good night’s sleep. 
  4. Use a hot or cold compress. 
  5. Reduce stress. 
  6. Exercise my jaw.
  7. Take notice of bad habits.
  8. Avoid certain activities and foods.

Where do I massage TMJ?

  • I place 2 to 3 fingers on the muscles below my cheekbones.
  • If I clench my teeth, I should feel the muscles tighten under those fingers. 
  • Then I press the muscles and hold that pressure for 6 to 10 seconds.
  • After that, I relax my jaw and repeat in another tender or tight area of my cheek.

Final Thoughts

Temporomandibular joint disorders can be painful and limit the ability to use your jaw and mouth. It’s essential to avoid or stop activities that place excessive or unnecessary stress on your jaw. In this article, I thoroughly elaborate that wearing headphones can become a severe cause of TMJ. I also discussed many ways to sort out these issues, like doing the right things to help you safely heal and manage your condition.

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