If you suffer from migraine headaches, you’re well versed in that throbbing viselike pain squeezing one or both sides of your head. What you may not know is that clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth may be the real culprit. Both of these behaviors, known as bruxism, can cause disorders of your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the hinge-like joints that connect your upper and lower jaw.
At Sargon Dental in Encino and West Hollywood, California, our experienced team has helped many patients say goodbye to headache agony by diagnosing and treating the actual underlining problem: a TMJ disorder (TMJD).
Your TMJ is supported by muscles that enable you to move your jaw when speaking, eating, and yawning. Pain that starts here can travel to the skull, mimicking the same all-encompassing symptoms as migraines. Teeth grinding and jaw clenching, also known as bruxism, can occur during the day or at night while you sleep. If you regularly wake up with a heading, there’s a likely chance that a TMJ disorder spurred by night bruxism is to blame.
Why some people suffer from bruxism and others don’t isn’t entirely understood. Still, medical experts suspect it’s due to a combination of factors, including anxiety, stress, a misaligned bite, certain sleep disorders, and side effects of certain types of medicine, such as the group of antidepressants known as Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
If conventional migraine treatments have been unsuccessful in providing relief, it’s worth investigating whether bruxism may be the underlining issue.
Other common signs of a TMJ disorder to consider include:
It’s also possible to be diagnosed with migraines and TMJ problems. The two often co-exist. Having TMJ increases your risk of migraines by almost 60%.
Depending on the severity of your pain, your dentist may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
To learn whether your migraine pain is a TMJ condition and how to treat it, schedule an appointment at Sargon Dental today.