Migraines and TMJ
The link between migraines and TMJ is not as well understood. In part, that’s because migraines themselves aren’t well understood. We think there are three links between migraines and TMJ.
First, it’s possible that you have a tension headache misdiagnosed as a migraine. This is common.
Second, it’s common for tension headaches to trigger migraines. TMJ could be causing your tension headaches and setting the chain reaction in motion.
Finally, one important link in the causal chain of migraines is the trigeminal nerve. This nerve sends signals out to and receives them back from your jaw muscles. Tension and pain in the jaw muscles could overstimulate the trigeminal nerve, setting off migraines.
Referred Pain Headaches
Referred pain is when you feel pain in one part of the body, but the source of the pain is another. Thus, you might feel the pain as a headache, but it’s actually your jaw joint or your tooth that is hurting.
Referred pain might seem implausible, but it’s more common than you’d think.
Is Your Headache Linked to TMJ?
Headaches can be caused by many different things. So how do you know whether you should see a neuromuscular dentist?
Usually, it’s a good idea to see a neuromuscular dentist if one or more of the following are true:
- Headaches seem to occur after intense jaw activity (lots of talking, a meal that’s hard to chew, clenching or grinding of teeth)
- You have other TMJ symptoms
- Other headache treatments aren’t helping
If any of those describe your headaches, we are ready to help. Please call (509) 532-1111 today for an appointment with a Spokane neuromuscular dentist at Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics.