TMJ and Migraine Therapy

By: Moore Family Dentistry   05/06/2015
Keywords: Migraine Headaches, Headache Relief, Headache Treatment

Pain takes a hefty toll on your quality of life. Two conditions in particular can be troublesome – temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) and migraine headaches. Fortunately, both of these can be easily treated by Dr. Moore right here in our Pelham dental office. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Place your fingers just below your earlobe and wiggle your jaw around a little. Feel all the shifting that takes place? This is your temporomandibular joint, where your lower jaw hinges to your skull. More than just a simple back-and-forth hinge, this is actually a ball-and-socket joint like your shoulder or your hip. It’s designed to move back and forth, up and down, out and in, and around in circles. This joint makes it possible for us to eat a variety of foods and speak a complex language. Sometimes things go wrong with this joint. An injury may damage it, you can develop arthritis in the joint, or the disc that protects the joint may not function correctly. Sometimes there is no obvious cause, but it is clear that the joint is no longer functioning as it should. Some of the symptoms associated with temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, are pain in the joint that may radiate to the ear or down the neck, a popping or clicking sound in the joint, locking that prevents your jaw from opening or closing fully, or a grinding noise and sensation. TMJ is also often identified with other conditions such as bruxism (grinding or clenching of the teeth) and migraine headaches. Migraines About 10% of the U.S. population, including children, suffer from migraine headaches. The Migraine Research Foundation identifies migraines as one of the most disabling conditions in the world. And it’s no wonder – if you suffer from migraines, you know exactly how debilitating these headaches can be. While nearly everyone has had a headache at some point, people who have never had a migraine may not realize how different migraines are from other types of headaches. In addition to severe head pain, migraines are often accompanied by nausea that can lead to vomiting in some sufferers and even auras, which are visual and other sensory disturbances. Often, people who suffer from migraines have tried many different treatments to try to prevent headaches or stop them from getting worse. Treatments may include a variety of different medications with a bevy of side effects, avoidance of certain food groups, or chiropractic and acupuncture treatments. But did you know that the answer could be as close as your dentist’s office? Night Guards and Splints So what do TMJ and migraines have in common? Other than the fact that they both cause pain, treatment for both of these conditions can be similar – a night guard or splint that is worn while you sleep. Night guards help treat TMJ by holding the jaw in a neutral position, relieving stress on the joint and allowing tension to leave the muscles of your jaw. This stops the shooting pain and prevents further deterioration of the joint from taking place. A night guard can treat migraine by preventing tension in the muscles of your temples. Press your fingers to your temples and bite down. Feel how the muscle becomes tense and bulges out a bit? If you are clenching your teeth while you sleep, your muscles remain in this tensed position all night. While the full cause of migraines remains unknown, it is believed that the tension in these muscles irritates the nerves in the area, which eventually leads to migraine in some people. Night guards work to prevent migraines in many migraine sufferers. They can reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks, allowing you to live your life more comfortably.

Keywords: Headache Relief, Headache Treatment, Migraine Headaches, Migraine Relief, Migraine Therapy, Migraine Treatment, Tmj Therapy

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