It’s Not a Tumor–Or Is It?

Migraine or Tumor?How can you tell if your “migraine” is actually a migraine or if it’s symptoms of a brain tumor? Although brain tumors are a very remote possibility, they do happen, every day to people of all ages, so it’s an important thing to consider.

There are some clear symptoms that should cause you to see a doctor about your headaches, whether you suspect they’re migraines or if you suspect they’re something else.

When to See a Doctor about Headaches

Some symptoms are warning signs that your headaches are serious and need medical attention. See your doctor if you experience:

  • Epilepsy, seizures, or uncontrolled muscle movements
  • Headache not controlled by over-the-counter medication
  • Headache that lasts longer than three days or recurs frequently
  • Mood changes, such as irritability or apathy
  • Personality changes
  • Loss of memory
  • Dizziness, nausea, and vomiting
  • Partial loss of vision or hearing
  • Hallucinations

These are symptoms that whatever’s causing your headache may be causing damage to your brain, and requires treatment. It’s worth noting that many of these symptoms can also be caused by sleep apnea, which can put you at risk for serious headaches, especially morning headaches.

When to See a Dentist about Headaches

Brain tumors aren’t the only reason your headache might require treatment. Another possible cause of recurrent, severe headaches is temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), in which misalignment of the jaw can impinge on nerves, blood vessels, and cause muscle tension that results in headaches. Other symptoms of TMJ include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Popping or grinding jaw
  • Tooth pain
  • Tooth grinding
  • Jaw clenching
  • Limited jaw movement
  • Neck, back, and shoulder pain
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) or ear pain

If these symptoms accompany your headache, the help of a dentist might be the right way to get relief, especially if your current treatment plan is just not having an impact or has too many side effects.

To learn whether TMJ is responsible for your headaches, please call (619) 299-5925 for an appointment with a San Diego TMJ dentist at Strober Dental.