March 7, 2020
According to the Migraine Research Foundation, over 10% of Americans suffer from migraines. This type of recurring headache can cause severe pain and even nausea. Do you often struggle to get through the day due to intense, throbbing migraines? You might be surprised to learn that your dentist may be able to help! Keep reading to learn how migraines are linked to temporomandibular disorders and how you can find relief through TMJ therapy from a dentist.
What Are Temporomandibular Disorders?
The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the joint that connects the lower jaw with the bone in front of each ear. This unique joint, composed of the rounded bone of the mandible and a disc-like structure made of cartilage, allows you move your jaw up, down, and side to side so you can talk, chew and yawn normally.
Problems related to the TMJ are known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). TMD can be a significant source of pain and may be due to a combination of factors, including:
- Grinding or clenching teeth at night
- Injury to the jaw
- Bite misalignment
- Poor posture
How Are Migraines Linked to TMD?
Constant teeth grinding or clenching your jaw at night can cause pain in the temporomandibular joint and nearby muscles. This pain can travel to other places in the skull and cause headaches or even severe migraines. Allowing temporomandibular disorders to go untreated may result in persistent migraines that negatively impact your quality of life.
In addition to migraines, TMD can also contribute to many other painful or uncomfortable symptoms, such as:
- Pain or soreness in the jaw
- Aching pain in and around the ear
- Difficult opening or closing the mouth
- Pain while chewing
- Constant clicking or popping when moving the jaw
- Swelling around the jaw joints
How Can TMJ Therapy Help?
Visiting a dentist for TMJ therapy may be the quickest and most effective way to find relief from painful TMD symptoms. One way experienced dental professionals can help relieve TMD pain is with an occlusal splint, also known as a night guard. Custom night guards from a dentist shift the jaw into a more comfortable position and allow the muscles around the TMJ to rest. Typically worn only at night, night guards also prevent patients from grinding their teeth at night.
Be aware that while many local drugstores sell night guards, they are often the one-size-fits-all variety and therefore may not be as effective as a custom night guard from a dental professional.
You do not have to suffer from TMD-induced migraines! Take the first step toward freeing your head from persistent pain by talking to your dentist about TMJ therapy today.
About the Author
Dr. Bita Kamali has over two decades of experience helping Texans of all ages improve their oral health. The proud Baylor College of Dentistry graduate relieves severe jaw pain and restores oral function through TMJ therapy at her conveniently located Plano practice. For more information on temporomandibular disorders and treatment, visit the Parkway Vista Dental website or call Dr. Kamali at 972-818-1300.