Getting through the day with a headache or migraine can be incredibly challenging, especially when you start your day with one. Sometimes, headaches and migraines may result from poor dietary or lifestyle choices. However, in most cases, headaches and migraines are often the results of an underlying condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder or TMJ. However, knowing whether you suffer from a TMJ headache or migraine can be challenging. Therefore, our Kingston TMJ dentists at LakeView Dental Arts compare the two conditions below to help you better understand your pain and what may be causing it.
What is the relationship between TMJ headaches and migraines?
Headaches associated with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and migraines are both tension headaches. Our TMJ dentists in Kingston explain that the trigeminal nerve, which transmits more sensory information to the brain than any other nerve in the body, becomes aggravated by both conditions. Migraine sufferers experience a shift in brain chemistry during an episode. The trigeminal nerve sends pain signals to the brain, causing serotonin levels to plummet. On the other hand, TMJ headache sufferers experience pain from internal jaw joint irritation or inflammation due to a misaligned jaw.
What role does the trigeminal nerve play in TMJ headaches?
The trigeminal nerve is close to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which connects the jaw to the skull. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, typically due to a misaligned bite, causes TMJ. Joint problems immediately manifest in jaw functions, extending to the muscles in the area. After compromising the muscles, the blood vessels and nerves feel the compression, which results in painful sensations.
What are the differences between TMJ headaches and migraines?
TMJ headaches are distinct from migraines in the symptoms they often produce. Our Kingston dentists who treat TMJ patients explain that people who suffer from migraines often have what is known as an aura, or a kind of visual hallucination, that may occur before a migraine episode.
However, TMJ headaches and migraines share a wide variety of other symptoms, including:
- Crippling pain
- Fainting or dizziness
- Exceptional sensitivities to noise or light
- Discomforts with eating or drinking, including nausea or vomiting
What treatments are available for sufferers?
Most people who get migraines never seek medical attention, as the Migraine Research Foundation reports. As a result, many TMJ cases either receive a misdiagnosis or the wrong treatment that doesn’t address the underlying condition. Unfortunately, both conditions will not go away independently, requiring a TMJ dentist in Kingston to administer proper treatment.
Some possible common treatments are below that our dentists may use individually or in tandem with other treatments for the best results.
- Symptom-relieving drugs for pain management (short-term use)
- Medical treatment, including the use of an oral appliance
- The use of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to alleviate jaw tension
Headache and Migraine Treatment in Kingston, Tennessee
Pain can make everyday tasks seeing more challenging. Unfortunately, whether you suffer from a TMJ headache or a migraine, it can cause debilitating pain. Although over-the-counter pain relieving products may provide temporary relief, they often wear off or fail to diminish the pain completely. In addition, TMJ headaches and migraines have underlying conditions requiring specific treatments that our Kingston dental office can address. So, suppose you suffer from headaches or migraines that don’t get better after using pain relievers. In that case, we encourage you to contact LakeView Dental Arts to schedule a consultation and find out more about the possible underlying conditions and available treatments. To schedule an appointment, call us at (865) 248-2199 or contact us online.