If you suffer from migraines or other chronic headaches, it can be disabling. People with migraines lose an average of 10 working days a year, and that doesn’t begin to account for the disruption to their lives. Migraines and other chronic headaches cut a destructive swathe across all aspects of our lives, affecting not just work, but family and leisure time as well. Treatment with medication is not always effective, and it comes with serious risks, including painkiller addiction and rebound headaches.
But there is another approach to treatment. TMJ may be involved in your headaches, and TMJ treatment can reduce or eliminate them, without medication. To learn how TMJ treatment may help you, please call 619-299-5925 or email Strober Dental in San Diego.
Tension Headaches and TMJ
When your jaw joint is out of balance due to TMJ, it causes a great deal of muscle strain. This strain isn’t limited to the muscles in your jaw joint. Instead, because the muscles in your jaw work together with muscles in your head and neck, the tension in your jaw gets passed on to these other muscles. When these muscles are tense, it can result in a tension headache.
Tension headaches are common, and up to 80% of Americans suffer them, although the number that have chronic headaches is much less. TMJ treatment may reduce the severity and frequency of your tension headache pain if they’re a symptom of TMJ.
Migraines and TMJ
Migraines remain mysterious headaches. We know they are related to certain chemicals that cause constriction and dilation of the blood vessels in the brain, which leads to increased pressure in the brain, causing pain and other migraine symptoms. However, we’re still not entirely certain how migraines are triggered or why.
There are two potential ways that TMJ can cause or worsen your migraines. First, TMJ can cause tension headaches and migraines. Second, the trigeminal nerve seems to play an important role in the triggering of migraines. This nerve runs right by the temporomandibular joint and can be irritated in TMJ, which may trigger migraines.
Studies are divided about how much impact TMJ treatment may have on true migraines. Some studies show that TMJ treatment reduces the frequency and severity of migraines while other studies show that it only reduces their frequency.
Headache Relief without Medication
TMJ treatment begins with TENS, a type of electric massage, which can immediately reduce your muscle tension and may provide some relief from TMJ-related headaches. Next, you may be fitted with an orthotic appliance, like a mouthguard that you wear at night to keep your jaw in the proper position. This will give long-term relief from a TMJ headache.
If you live in San Diego, and want to learn whether TMJ treatment can help your headaches, please contact Strober Dental today for a consultation.