Migraines and Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

Posted by AESTHETIC DENTISTRY on Apr 12 2021, 01:47 AM

Migraines and Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

If you suffer from temporomandibular joint dysfunction, you’re likely no stranger to pain. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction causes many problems beyond just the temporomandibular joint of the jaw not connecting properly. It can also cause neck and back pain, tinnitus, difficulty opening and closing the mouth, difficulty chewing, speaking, or breathing, and even migraine headaches.

Though the exact connection is not known, migraine headaches are suspected to be caused by temporomandibular joint dysfunction because of the temporomandibular joint’s proximity to the trigeminal nerve. Migraine headaches usually occur when the trigeminal nerve goes on the defensive, releasing chemicals that cause swelling around the brain. This in turn causes what is known as a migraine headache.

So, what causes the stimulation of the trigeminal nerve? It could be a common side effect of temporomandibular joint dysfunction: teeth grinding.  In addition to making jaw pain worse, wearing on teeth, and even causing chipped or cracked teeth, teeth grinding can irritate the trigeminal nerve, causing migraine headaches. Ouch!

If you find yourself grinding your teeth, speak to Dr. Abelar about being assessed for temporomandibular joint dysfunction. There are many options for the treatment of temporomandibular joint dysfunction, including physical therapy and custom bite guards. These can help realign the joints and ease jaw pain and stiffness. You can even get a custom bite guard for teeth grinding, which can help protect not just your jaw and reduce migraines but it can help protect your teeth from chips and cracks, too.

If you suffer from migraine pain, speak to a physician or neurologist. There are many ways to treat these headaches as well, including Botox injections and prescription medications. But that pain can also be lessened by treating your temporomandibular joint dysfunction if that is determined to be the cause of your migraines.

To learn more about your options for treating temporomandibular joint dysfunction and migraine headaches, speak to Dr. Abelar. He can help customize a solution that alleviates your migraine and temporomandibular joint dysfunction pain and gets you back to feeling like yourself again.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Abelar, please contact the office at 858-523-1400.

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