TMJ Migraine: What Causes Jaw Pain Causes Headaches and the Way to Find Relief Self

TMJ Migraine: What Causes Jaw Pain Causes Headaches and the Way to Find Relief Self

If you’re suffering from migraine headaches and headaches, you’re likely to be more than familiar with the uncomfortable symptoms of throbbing pain in the head as well as sensitivity to noise and lights, vomiting and changes in vision can cause severe pain and ruin your whole day. It’s not just a serious headache; it’s a neurologic disorder that is the result of complex changes that occur in the blood vessels and nerves within the brain, which result in inflammation. While the exact cause for the condition isn’t completely understood the causes of migraine, they are usually initiated by the individual’s specific triggers. This can include hormonal changes, eating certain foods, stress, lack of sleep, or exposure to certain kinds of strong or intense smells and odors, among other things.

But there’s a cause that’s often ignored: the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) problems that are also referred to as TMD (but more commonly known as TMJ). As per the Mayo Clinic, TMJ disorders result in pain and discomfort at the temporomandibular joints–the joint that connects your jawbone and your skull. It also affects the muscles which manage your jaw. TMJ can also result in restrictions in movements or “locking” of your jaw. Due to reasons that researchers and oral pain specialists are only learning to comprehend the consequences of TMJ problems can also cause headaches or even full-blown migraine attacks.

“Physicians don’t get much instruction about the way that jaws interact with other physical signs,” Mark Abramson, DDS who is one of the TMJ expert and an adjunct professor in psychiatry as well as behavioral Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine says to SELF. However, we know that there’s a connection between these two disorders: People who suffer from migraine tend to experience discomfort and pain in the jaw region, which could be felt throughout the neck, head, as well as shoulders. “There is certainly a percentage of those who suffer from TMJ issues that also suffer from migraine” Belinda. Savage-Edwards MD is a neurologist and specialist in headaches located at Huntsville, Alabama, tells SELF.

What is the reason TMJ conditions trigger migraines for some individuals?

Researchers are still trying to figure on this, but they have some theories that are top of the line. “The muscles that connect to the joint may become spasms in the event of increased usage–from chewing, talking or yawning a lot and other such things. And those spasms could trigger headaches,” says Dr. Savage-Edwards. “But it’s been demonstrated that those suffering from TMJ issues are in fact more susceptible to migraine headaches than those with tension headaches.”

One explanation that could explain the connection, as explained by the doctor. Abramson, is the involvement of the trigeminal nerve that is which is a nerve which is essential to controlling the movement of the jaw. However, it is also targeted by some migraine medicines because of its involvement to the cause of facial and head discomfort. 1

A different theory suggests that migraines could be caused or aggravated due to the causes and signs of the TMJ disorder, for example, teeth grinding, which can cause pain when chewing. “If you’re someone who always suffers from headache when eating, the trigger could be due to chewing,” says Dr. Savage-Edwards. “Or when they get up with the headaches and are grinding their teeth and clenching the jaw all night long and in the morning, it could also be the cause.” But we have plenty to know about the mechanism of the way TMJ conditions could be connected with migraines.

What can you do to determine whether you have you have a TMJ disorder could be behind the migraine symptoms you experience?

This may seem like a simple thing, but if suffer from regular migraine attacks or you experience TMJ symptoms as a result of flares, it’s probable that the two are linked at some point. When there’s smoke there’s usually fire. If you suffer from migraines as well as painful or burning sensations in your jaw (especially after eating or chewing) stiff jaws and a clicking or popping sound in your jaw, an undisclosed changes in your bite or you’re aware that the habit of grinding your teeth every late at night, these could be indications of an TMJ disorder, according to doctor. Savage Edwards. 2 Treating it could help improve the situation with migraine, but this may not be the case in all cases.