According to the Migraine Research Foundation, an estimated one out of four households in the nation includes someone who suffers from migraines. Often times, this condition is looked at as an isolated one. However, migraines can also be linked to other larger underlying issues, like TMJ dysfunction. If this is the case, a successful treatment to address both of these problems may be within view. Read on to learn more about how migraines are connected to your TMJ and how you can ease the pain caused by both conditions.
What are Migraines?
Migraines are a rather illusive condition that can be alter the function of your day-to-day life by creating pounding, headache-like feelings that are debilitating. In the past, researchers used medications that focused on targeting dilating and constricted blood vessels. However, they later found that this wasn’t the primary source of the migraine pain. Today, they believe that it’s a neurological disorder involving the nerve pathways and chemicals in your brain.
What is TMJ Dysfunction?
TMJ Dysfunction is a condition that restricts the free and easy movement of your temporomandibular joints that connect your jaw to the base of your skull. These are crucial joints that make it easy to speak, yawn, and chew your food. When they aren’t functioning as they should, it can cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms and chronic pain.
How Are They Related?
Within the past few years, scientists have begun diving deeper into the connection between TMJ dysfunction and migraines. In a study conducted by the University of São Paulo in Brazil in 2017, researchers found that patients with chronic migraines, which was categorized as having attacks on more than 15 days out of the month, were three times more likely to also report that they were having severe TMJ dysfunction symptoms. TMJ dysfunction is primarily thought to be caused by stress and overload of force on certain areas of the mouth, but now, scientists are slowly unravelling a web of new connections between this condition that could help countless patients finally find the relief they need.
How Can You Treat These Issues?
If you suffer from migraines, along with other common symptoms of TMJ dysfunction, including earaches, lockjaw, and teeth grinding, then you may be able to treat both of these issues by solely addressing your TMJ. A customized oral appliance that you can wear at night will help protect your teeth and facial muscles from the harmful effects of grinding and set your jaw in a “normal” alignment while you’re asleep. This will help reduce the prevalence of your symptoms, including migraines.
TMJ dysfunction can have a drastic impact on other areas of your body besides your mouth, which is why it’s crucial to get it addressed as soon as possible. With lasting relief from customized TMJ therapy, you’ll be able to sleep easy and target debilitating migraine pain so you can get on with your life.
About the Author
Dr. Kenneth Gasper II has over three decades of experience in his field. He is always pursuing advanced education courses, including several courses in Orthodontics/TMJ at the Mid America Orthodontic Society. These allow him to provide highly effective treatments, like customized oral appliance therapy, to reduce uncomfortable and painful symptoms that impact patients’ day-to-day lives. If you’re experiencing migraines alongside common TMJ symptoms, don’t hesitate to visit his website or call 719-599-0700 to schedule an appointment.