Can your Jaw be the Cause of your Migraine Headaches?

Can your Jaw be the Cause of your Migraine Headaches?

TMJ or Temporomandibular joint disorders are a type of condition that may cause headaches. TMJ disorders occur in the joints and muscles of the jaw. These disorders can cause pain, severe discomfort, and even cause issues with movement of the mouth and face.
We often see patients with TMJ disorders experience headaches.

The Confident Dental Care team, in this article will try to address the relationship between TMJ disorders and headaches. We will also list some of the treatment options that can help the condition. A study conducted in 2015, confirmed that headaches were one of the predominant symptoms of TMJ disorders.

However, after two years, the same study showed the relationship between headaches and TMJ disorders could be reciprocal. The researchers state that a headache may escalate TMJ pain for some and in a few cases the TMJ pain may itself cause a headache.

Later, the American Migraine Foundation also confirmed the fact that a headache may result from a TMJ disorder and that a headache can cause pain in the TMJ.

Hence, it is necessary to treat both conditions simultaneously.

What are the other symptoms of TMJ disorders?

The symptoms of TMJ disorders may not be consistent. But it is important to note that you may be experiencing the symptoms even without having the condition.

Dr. Sapna Shetty, Confident dental care discusses a few other symptoms that TMJ disorders are associated with.

  • pain in the face
  • difficulty opening and closing the jaw
  • pain when chewing
  • earaches
  • headaches
  • jaw pain

However, please note that the above-mentioned symptoms may also occur due to other conditions, probably an ear infection or facial injury.

Other symptoms associated with TMJ disorders are

  • Stiffness in the jaw muscle
  • Sharp pain in the jaw, neck, or face
  • Lower and upper teeth cease to fit together
  • Reduced movement in the jaw
  • Locking jaw
  • Clicking or popping in the jaw when moved

What are the Causes of TMJ?

Causes of TMJ disorders could include

  • Stress
  • Teeth grinding
  • Dislocation of the jaw
  • Injury
  • Tooth and jaw misalignment
  • Arthritis

Other causes include

  • Breathing tubes used for surgeries
  • Few dental procedures
  • Infections
  • Autoimmune disorders

But till today the exact causes of TMJ disorders are not always clear.

What are the Treatment Options for TMJ?

TMJ pain can range from mild to severe. Confident dental care recommends that doctors use non-invasive treatments for most cases.

A few options include:

  • OTC pain relievers
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Stabilization splints
  • Bite guards

Some home therapies may also help relieve symptoms. 

  • Eat softer foods
  • Avoid chewing gum and biting fingernails
  • Strengthening exercises to stretch the jaw
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Heat packs
  • Muscle relaxants

At Confident Dental Care, doctors typically view surgery as a last resort option, reserving it for people with severe TMJ symptoms.

Surgical procedures at Confident dental care span from less invasive techniques that only adjust the joints in the jaw to full open joint surgery or joint replacement.

Dr. Sapna Shetty, Confident Dental Care, Bangalore warns that surgery is not always the best solution for TMJ disorders.

When to contact a doctor

If you are experiencing frequent headaches, you should talk with your doctor. Your doctor will identify if TMJ disorder could be the cause of the headaches.

To know more about TMJ disorders and associated symptoms, 

Schedule an appointment today.

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