Migraines are different from normal headaches. They come with strong, throbbing pain in part of the head, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. This combination of symptoms can be extremely painful and interfere with quality of life. Because migraines typically affect the visual center of the brain, they can be preceded by visual disturbances such as an aura.
Insomnia, anxiety, stress, and overexposure to light can all trigger migraines but are not the ultimate cause. The root causes of migraines probably involve a combination of blood vessel issues and heredity, but scientists are not all in agreement. Three times as many women as men suffer from migraines, but the reason for this is not well understood.
TMJ: Another Migraine Factor
Many migraine sufferers are not aware that their migraines may be caused by TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder). They may not know that a problem involving the teeth and jaw could cause such intense pain. Also, primary physicians do not always consider TMD as a possible cause of migraines since they usually are not trained in neuromuscular dentistry.
TMD is a medical condition caused by malocclusion (misaligned teeth/bite), which strains the TMJs (temporomandibular joints) that link the jaw with the cranium. TMJ misalignment or dysfunction is a serious issue, and can cause migraine-type headaches. This is because the trigeminal nerve, responsible for jaw movement, also transmits pain from nerves throughout the head and neck.
Other TMD symptoms include:
- Pain in the back, neck, or face
- Tingling or numbness in the arms or hands
- Jaw pain, stiffness, soreness
- Dizziness or vertigo
If you have frequent migraines or other symptoms, you may have TMD. Dr. Doolin and Dr. Haddad are neuromuscular dentists trained at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies (LVI), and they can tell you if your headaches are the result of TMD.
Rochester Advanced Dentistry uses high-tech diagnostic equipment that helps provide definitive answers about whether TMD is causing your headaches. After a diagnosis of TMD, they will develop with you a treatment plan to relieve your pain and return you to a life without migraines.
Dr. Kurt Doolin and Dr. Jeffrey Haddad diagnose and treat TMD patients in Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland Township and surrounding areas of Michigan. To find out if your migraines, headaches, or other symptoms are caused by TMD, please call Rochester Advanced Dentistry at (248) 656-2020 to schedule a personal neuromuscular evaluation.