Migraines are pretty common, but many people don’t know that they might actually need to see a dentist to get some relief.
One in 10 people, from children to adults, experience migraine pain. Those painful migraines could be caused by TMJ disorder, a condition that causes your temporomandibular joints (TMJs) to swell or become inflamed. These are the joints on either side of your jaw that act as hinges when you chew or speak.
TMJ disorders are more common than you would think — they’ve been reported in nearly half of the US population. And they could be the cause of your migraines.
At Forest Hills Orthodontic Associates, we believe in providing comprehensive care that addresses the cause of your pain so we can provide a solution.
How can I tell if I have a migraine and not just a headache?
As opposed to a headache, a migraine occurs repeatedly and comes with a pulsing pain. You can have migraine pain on one or both sides of your head, and you might be very sensitive to lights, sounds, smells and stress. You can even suffer from bouts of nausea.
How do I know if I have TMJ disorder?
To figure out if you do have TMJ disorder, look for these symptoms:
- Pain or aching in the jaw
- Clicking noise when you yawn or eat
- Jaw muscles feel tight
If you notice these signs of TMJ disorder, and you can also check off some of the signs of migraines, these issues might be related.
How can I relieve migraine pain caused by TMJ disorder?
There are some simple things that you can do to alleviate pain caused by TMJ disorder, including:
- Avoiding hard foods that require excessive chewing
- Reducing stress that can lead to jaw clenching
- Not chewing gum
- Doing jaw exercises
- Icing your jaw
While these home remedies can be helpful, many people need medical intervention by a seasoned professional like Dr. Emanuel Mizrahi.
What can my dentist do for my migraines?
Dr. Mizrahi starts with several different conservative treatment options to address your TMJ disorder. These include:
- Nightguards – These are custom-fit guards that are worn over the teeth at night to relieve the pain associated with grinding your teeth or clenching.
- OTC anti-inflammatories – Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) can help decrease inflammation.
- Prescription medications – When anti-inflammatories don’t work, Dr. Mizrahi can prescribe medications like muscle relaxers that relax the jaw and ease tension. Even tricyclic antidepressants in particularly low doses can help with TMJ disorders.
- Injections – Corticosteroid injections in the jaw muscles can be helpful alternatives to more invasive treatment options.
- Surgical procedures – In extreme cases, you may need surgery to relieve the issue. There are a number of different procedures that Dr. Mizrahi can perform to correct structural defects or remove debris from within your joints.
At Forest Hills Orthodontic Associates, we understand how painful and debilitating migraines, especially those caused by TMJ, can be, and we’re dedicated to finding the best treatment options for you. Call us or book an appointment online with Emanuel Mizrahi, DDS, today.