Can Headphones Cause TMJ -

Can Headphones Cause TMJ | 7 Proven Fixes | Let’s Discuss In 2024

This article provides valuable information about TMJ and its connection to headphone use.

Can Headphones Cause TMJ -

Can Headphones Cause TMJ?

Most people believe that the use of headphones can cause TMJ. That is one side of the picture. So, can headphones cause TMJ?

As our research and interviews with the people who suffer from TMJ stated” Headphones can not cause TMJ but overuse of headphones can trigger  TMJ pain”.

Let’s see how a TMJ person can deal with headphone usage.

TMJ – What is It?

Tmj stands for temporomandibular Joint, a crucial part of our facial structure. This Joint connects our jaw bone to the skull. It helps the jaw move and works like a pulley or hinge for the jaw.

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Tmj is not a disorder but a name of a joint. However, excessive action of multiple factors can lead to temporomandibular Joint disorder, usually called TMJ. 

6 Reasons Why Headphones Causing Tmj Pain?

Headphones usually don’t lead to pain in our jawline.

If 100 people use the headphones, only 2 might be suffering from TMJ disorder. Its ratio is relatively low but depends on the headphones and many other things.

Here is the complete list of the actions that can lead you to have tmj disorder due to headphones. 

One of the main reasons that lead to the tmj pain is the poor quality of headphones.

The Headphone industry has evolved into a big one recently. Many scams and low-quality manufacturers have also joined the market. These newcomers’ headphones are mostly low quality.

Low-quality headphones with rigid earpads and no ANC feature can put additional strain on the jaw and joints, resulting in TMJ disorder.

Before shopping make sure you buy from reputable brands like Bose, Sony, and Sennheiser.

We also compile a guide for the best headphones for sensitive ears. You can check that guide and find out which headphone is for you.

They sell their products by trapping the people that their product is the cheapest. Everyone wants to save money, so users get attracted to it and order it online. On arrival, users realize that the quality of the headphones could be better, but they still want to continue with it. 

A study conducted on high volume stated that “The maximum level of volume is hazardous for the ears.

There are multiple uses for the headphones, but mainly it is used for music and podcasts. Audiophiles, like to keep their headphones intact all the time. Moreover, they like to listen to music at the max level.

It can put extra pressure on the skull and joints simultaneously. Listening to music at high volume for long hours is the primary reason behind the tmj pain. 

Body posture also plays a crucial role in avoiding TMJ disorder. Poor body postures can put extra pressure on the jaw bone.

For example, we primarily use headphones on the bed or couch. Lying straight is not an issue; lying toward one side is the central issue.

When we keep listening to the music and lie down toward one side, we must have noticed that the sound gets muffled, and we must have felt the extra pressure on the ears. 

Well, this is the primary reason behind the TMJ disorder. Extra force and pressure on the skull structure will give nothing but pain everywhere in the skull

Clamping force is the force that keeps the headphones intact on our heads even if we move fast. 

Proper clamping force is critical to preventing TMJ disorder. While some may believe that increasing the pressure of headphones ensures a secure fit, excessive force can lead to added pressure on the skull, specifically the ear bones and jawline. It’s essential to avoid over-tightening the headphones to achieve optimal clamping force.

If we can maintain a moderate level of clamping force on our heads, it will result in a healthy lifestyle. 

Multiple types of headphones are available in the market, such as on-ear headphones, in-ear headphones, or over-ear headphones. 

If you face the tmj pain due to your headphones, In-ear headphones are suggested. Unlike over-ear headphones, In-ear headphones go directly into your ears without touching any TMJ-affected area.

Because they go directly into our ears, they will not put any extra pressure on the skull or jaw bones.

Headphones do not make our jaw pain, but their excessive usage does. 

Keeping listening to the headphones for long hours, especially without any breaks, can lead to TMJ disorder. It’s better to take breaks while using the headphones as it will prevent jaw pain and any pain.

Biological Factors That Cause TMJ:

As mentioned earlier, tmj pain does not result from poor headphones usage, but it depends on multiple other factors. These factors combine with the wrong usage of headphones and collectively cause TMJ disorder. Here are the other factors involved. 

  1. Bone Disorder

It is a common misconception that using headphones can cause bone disorders. However, certain medical conditions are either present from birth or develop naturally. Some bone disorders may not present obvious symptoms initially but may become evident with the extended use of tight headphones. This can result in temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues, which may lead some to believe that headphones are the cause falsely.

  1. Stress

Stress has become an integral part of everyone’s life nowadays. It can lead to medical conditions, and TMJ is one of them. Stress can tighten up the bones of the skull and hurt the joints. If we are not using the proper fit of headphones on these already affected joints, it will take us to temporomandibular Joint pain.  

  1. Bruxism

Bruxism is the process in which our teeth grind themselves while we sleep. This issue is connected to stress, anxiety, and other conditions. You will be surprised that our jaw bone and skull contract with this condition. People with bruxism need to be careful with their headphones, which can be the reason behind tmj. 

7 Ways To Prevent TMJ Pain:

We can prevent temporomandibular Joint pain by following a better lifestyle. It is directly dependent on our way of using the headphones. Here are the proven ways to deal with TMJ pain. 

A moderate volume level is crucial in avoiding the tmj pain. Listening to music at higher volumes for long hours can lead to a specific vibration in our jaw joints. That is where the pain starts and makes our life challenging. Listening to a moderate volume level is better, and you will be safe from temporomandibular joint pain. 

The type of headphones is also crucial to avoiding TMJ disorder. When we buy cheap headphones, we mostly get stiff earpads. These earpads can create many pains in our skulls, not just the tmj. 

To avoid the tmj due to ear cups, we must get ultra-soft ear cups. Expensive brands usually make earcups specially designed to make our ears comfortable.

7 Ways To Prevent Tmj Pain - Use Ultra Soft Ear Cup -

Headphones can cause tmj pain due to multiple reasons. One of these reasons is the imperfect size of the headband.

Always try to purchase adjustable and cushioned headbands.

You can adjust the headband and lose it when needed, so it will not cause pain to the tmj. 

As mentioned earlier, bruxism is one of the leading reasons behind TMJ disorder. It comes due to anxiety and stress. 

The best is to avoid these conditions by keeping your jaw relaxed. When your jaw is relaxed, then you will be able to prevent the tmj in any scenario. 

If you experience TMJ disorder but still want to use headphones without discomfort, consider using hot and cold compresses. 

A hot compress can increase blood flow and relax your jaw, reducing the likelihood of TMJ pain. Similarly, a cold compress can help prevent TMJ pain. Consistently incorporating these techniques into your routine can significantly improve your quality of life.

Sitting and sleeping postures are directly connected to bone disorders in our bodies. Especially when using headphones, don’t try to sleep on your belly or one side.

However, lying down straight with headphones is of no concern. Also, placing more pillows under the neck will keep the perfect posture for you. 

Some jaw exercises are also helpful in keeping your jaw relaxed and healthy.

You can consult a physiotherapist or watch online videos to try different jaw-strengthening and relaxing exercises. Healthier the jaw, the less the tmj pain. 


  1. Does wearing headphones cause jaw pain?

Tmj pain happens at the jaw joint, which is located near the ear canal. So yes, wearing headphones can cause jaw pain, but only to those already suffering from an unhealthy jaw bone. Wearing headphones typically won’t create the tmj pain. 

  1. What are the side effects of wearing headphones?

Wearing headphones has no side effects, only if you use them moderately. If you are an audiophile who likes to listen to bass-heavy music for long hours on max volume, you can face many types of pain, such as jaw pain.

Tmj pain, ear pain, or overhead pain. Whether to enjoy the music or make it challenging for us is on us. 

  1. How many hours is it healthy to wear headphones?

It depends on what volume and what type of music you hear regularly. If you are listening on the max volume, using headphones for less than an hour every day is suggested. 


Tmj pain or TMJ disorder usually is said to be connected with the use of headphones only, but it is not like that in reality. 

Tmj pain occurs due to multiple factors altogether, and headphone is one of those factors. If you face stress, bone disorder, unhealthy jaw, unhealthy habits, and you listen to headphones all day, this routine can cause temporomandibular joint pain. 

However, listening to headphones for not so long on moderate volume is not an issue. 

Ken Marshall

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  1. wonderful post, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector don’t notice this. You should continue your writing. I’m confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

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