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TMJ and Migraines: Everything You Need to Know

Migraines and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders are more than just ordinary headaches or jaw pain. They can significantly impact your daily life. Understanding the difference between the two and how they might be connected is crucial for finding effective relief.

TMJ and Migraines

Why You Should Share Your Migraines with Your Dentist

Even if you’re unsure whether your migraines are directly related to TMJ, it’s crucial to communicate any migraine experiences with your dentist. Here’s why:

  1. Comprehensive Care: Dentists are trained to recognize oral health issues, including those that may contribute to migraines. They can provide valuable insights and potentially uncover underlying causes. You might be grinding your teeth or there might be another oral health-related issue occurring that is connected to your migraines.
  2. Preventive Measures: Early detection of any issues related to migraines can lead to more effective preventive measures. Your dentist might prescribe you a mouthguard if they notice grinding or clenching your teeth could be contributing to headaches or migraines.

The Difference Between TMJ and a Migraine

TMJ is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint, which connects your jawbone to your skull. It can cause various symptoms, including jaw pain, clicking or popping sounds, and difficulty chewing. On the other hand, migraine symptoms are like severe headaches but much worse. They are often accompanied by other symptoms like nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and visual disturbances.

Where Is Migraine Pain Located?

Migraine pain is typically throbbing and can occur on one or both sides of the head. It tends to be focused around the temples, forehead, and behind the eyes. TMJ-related pain, however, centers around the jaw joint and can radiate to the temples, ears, and even the neck.

Can TMJ Cause Migraines?

Research suggests that there is a significant connection between TMJ and migraines. It’s believed that the dysfunction in the temporomandibular joint can lead to muscle tension and misalignment, which in turn may trigger migraines. Additionally, individuals with TMJ disorder often exhibit higher levels of jaw clenching and teeth grinding, both of which are associated with migraines.

How To Alleviate Migraine Pain From TMJ

If you’re experiencing migraines due to TMJ, there are steps you can take to find relief. Simple exercises to relax the jaw muscles, applying heat or cold packs, and avoiding hard or chewy foods can help. Additionally, stress management techniques like meditation and relaxation exercises can be beneficial.

When To Seek TMJ Treatment

Especially if migraines are a side effect of your TMJ, seeking professional treatment is crucial. A dentist specializing in TMJ disorders can offer a range of therapies, from custom-made oral appliances to physical therapy exercises. These interventions aim to correct the underlying issues causing both the TMJ disorder and the associated migraines.

Talk to Your Dentist About Your Migraines and TMJ

If you’re experiencing migraines and suspect they might be linked to TMJ, it’s essential to seek professional advice. The experts at Reilly & Siegel Family Dentistry have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating TMJ disorders. Schedule a consultation today to find relief from both your TMJ and migraines.

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