September 1, 2020
According to the American Migraine Foundation, over 36 million Americans suffer from migraines, a severe and recurring type of headache. Although the causes of migraines are not yet fully understood, recent research has revealed a surprising link between migraines and the jaw – specifically, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Is the pain from frequent migraines impacting your daily quality of life? Then you will want to read the information below on the migraine-TMJ connection and how an oral surgeon in Denver can help deliver relief.
What Is Temporomandibular Dysfunction?
The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the joint below each ear that connects the lower jaw with the skull. This unique joint is made up of rounded mandible bone, ligaments and nerves and allows you to move your jaw up, down, and side to side with ease when talking, laughing or eating.
Problems related to the TMJ are known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ/TMD) and can be a significant source of pain. Temporomandibular dysfunction may be caused by some or all of these contributing factors:
- Grinding or clenching teeth at night
- Injury to the jaw
- Bite misalignment
- Poor posture
The Link Between the TMJ and Migraines
The human body is a complex interconnected system in which trouble in one area can spread and cause problems in another part of the body. This seems to be at least part of the story when it comes to migraines and the temporomandibular joint.
Recent research from the University of São Paulo in Brazil shows that individuals who experience chronic migraines are three times more likely to report severe symptoms of temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
While the study does not conclude that TMD causes migraines, the researchers do believe problems with the temporomandibular joint may increase the frequency and severity of migraine attacks.
How to Get Relief
According to the results of the study just described, allowing TMJ problems to go untreated may result in persistent migraines that negatively impact your quality of life. Fortunately, a qualified dentist or oral surgeon can address both migraines and TMJ/TMD in Denver with oral appliance therapy.
An oral appliance is a small plastic device worn at night that repositions the jaw to reduce joint tension. Custom-designed to fit comfortably in your mouth, oral appliances can also protect your teeth from nighttime grinding and clenching, which may contribute to TMJ pain in the first place.
This simple, non-surgical treatment can help deliver effective relief from persistent headaches and other TMJ-related pain. Looking for a way out of your migraine nightmare? Do not wait to call your dentist or oral surgeon in Denver!
About the Author
Dr. Brian Fangman leads the talented team at the five locations that comprise Altitude Oral Maxillofacial Implant Center in Denver. An active member of the prestigious American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, he has the knowledge and experience to treat all varieties of TMJ dysfunction. For more information on TMJ/TMD therapy, visit the Altitude Oral Maxillofacial Implant Center website or call Dr. Fangman at 720-328-4990.
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