Your Migraines Could Be Caused by TMJ

A migraine is one of the most painful headaches anyone can endure. Although research has not uncovered a specific cause of migraines for every patient, certain factors have been shown to contribute to the development of migraines. One of the most common causes of migraines is TMJ. Treating this problem can help patients with migraines enjoy fewer attacks and a better quality of life overall. 

What is TMJ?

The acronym "TMJ" stands for "temporomandibular joint," which is the joint that joins the lower jawbone to the skull.  However, most people use the term "TMJ" to refer to pain in this area. TMJ problems may cause a number of different symptoms for sufferers, including jaw pain, spasms, ear pain, ringing in the ears, facial pain, jaw popping, jaw locking and pain in the neck or shoulders. Some patients may find that these issues grow worse with stress, which makes teeth clenching and grinding more likely. 

TMJ and migraines

Research has shown that migraines and TMJ issues share a connection. People who clench or grind their teeth on a regular basis are more likely to suffer from migraines than people who do not. Scientists believe that this connection may exist because of the location of the trigeminal nerve, which is a nerve that sends signals to the brain. Problems in the TMJ area irritate this nerve, which can encourage the brain to release the chemicals that cause migraine pain. 

Treating migraines resulting from TMJ

Not all migraines are the result of TMJ. However, if you think your migraines may be related to problems with your temporomandibular joint, it may be in your best interest to seek treatment for these problems. Treating TMJ may lead to a reduction in the incidence and/or severity of migraine attacks. One of the best ways to treat TMJ is to visit a dentist who has experience with these issues. Our dentists, Dr. David B. Epstein and Dr. Nikita Vakil, will be able to evaluate your jaw, identify specific problems, and offer you the treatment options that are most likely to be effective in your case. 

If you are suffering from TMJ symptoms and/or migraines, you need to make an appointment with one of our qualified, experienced dentists as soon as possible. Please contact The Woodlands Dental Group today to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment. You can also send our office a message online. 

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