Migraines Linked to TMJ
The link between TMJ and migraines is less certain, in part because migraines aren’t well explained.
In many cases, people diagnosed with migraines actually have tension headaches. There are no good tests for migraines, so misdiagnosis is common.
Other times, tension headaches might be triggering your migraines. And TMJ is triggering your tension headaches.
Finally, TMJ could cause migraines by exciting the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve is a key stage in the progression of migraines, and it’s also the nerve that carries signals to and from your jaw muscles. When TMJ causes excitation and pain in the jaw muscles, these signals can jam up and overwhelm the trigeminal nerve in people susceptible to migraine. This sets off the migraine chain effect.
Referred Pain Headaches
Referred pain is when pain from one part of the body is felt as coming from another part. This is why people with a heart attack might feel pain in the arm or the jaw. Or maybe they feel organ pain as being from the shoulder. It’s actually a really common phenomenon.
Referred pain headaches are actually coming from your jaw or teeth, they’re just felt as headaches.
Is TMJ Causing Your Headaches?
In truth, the only way to know for sure that TMJ is responsible for your headaches is with a scientific diagnosis. But you should seek out a TMJ diagnosis if:
- Headaches occur after using your jaw (excessive talking, chewing, or teeth grinding)
- You have two or more other TMJ symptoms
- Treatments prescribed by doctor don’t cause relief
To schedule your TMJ evaluation in Spokane Valley, please call (509) 927-2273 today for an appointment at Collins dentistry & Aesthetics.