See A Tmj Dentist If You Suspect You Suffer From Tmj Migraines
A physician can help if you have certain types of headaches and migraines. However, you should see a neuromuscular dentist if you want to;treat a TMJ migraine.
In many cases, Im doctor number four or even doctor number eight in a patients journey of finding relief. I often hear how I am the unexpected specialist for their migraine or headache because I am a dentist.
Neuromuscular dentists have extensive knowledge of head and neck anatomy, and of what makes the teeth, jaw joint, and muscles work in harmony.
We focus on treating patients with TMJ and obstructive sleep apnea. Many of us ;do so while also offering family and cosmetic dental care. We have invested our resources into learning even more about how to successfully treat TMJ disorder from an interesting and valuable angle: the teeth.
When a patient with TMJ migraine of headache comes into my practice, I discuss all of their symptoms and do a thorough exam.
After studying the patients case, I will then develop a treatment plan that will fit their needs the best. My ultimate goal is to tackle the underlying cause of their condition, not just their symptoms.
If you have chronic headaches, dont hesitate to see a TMJ dentist. It may very well be the solution youve been looking for!
Dr.Thomas Meyer, DDS, MICCMO ;Dentist Mount Prospect
Why Do People Experience Neck Pain With Migraine Attacks
It’s not completely understood why migraine neck pain is so common, but there are some good hypotheses. The nerves from the neck converge with the nerves from the head in the brainstem, which is the area at the base of the brain that is believed to be one of the first relay stations for migraine pain. One hypothesis is that the brainstem gets switched on, and when a sensitized nervous system receives input from the head and the neck, it is amplified in ways that generate pain.
The other possibility is that the nerves of the neck have some function in terms of supplying sensory input to the back part of the head within the skull. There’s strong evidence that the nerves of the neck actually provide sensory input from the lining of the brain, which is called the meninges. Because those nerves are receiving sensory input from the back part of the brain, when they become sensitized they can cause neck pain
Sinus Headache Or Tmj Migraine: How To Tell The Difference
Weve all had bad headaches from time to time. The pain can be so intense that you cant seem to imagine anything worse.
And then you have a migraine episode that seems to take the pain to the next level. In addition to the pounding headache, your cheeks and teeth seem to ache, too.
Unfortunately, some people have headaches like this on a regular basis. Theyve tried to treat it with over-the-counter remedies, but these can just be Band-Aid solutions.
The reason for this is because painkillers arent treating the main source of the problem which could be structural or mechanical.
The above symptoms the pounding head, achy teeth, and tender cheeks arent signs of a typical headache. They could be signs of a sinus headache or a TMJ migraine.
In order to successfully treat the problem, we have to identify the root cause. First we need to discern the difference between these types of head pain.
You May Like: Does A Piercing Help Migraines
Can A Sinus Headache Cause A Migraine
A common misconception is that sinusitis triggers migraines , but that isnt likely to happen. Sinusitis originates in a different region of the body than migraine and they are not necessarily connected However, the two conditions do share the same nerves that can be stimulated, and they do both produce many of the same chemicals in the body during an attack. There are certain signs that can help distinguish between the two and knowing this can help facilitate appropriate treatment of the condition that is present.
Dr. Ailani explains how easy it can be to mistake a migraine for a sinus headache:
With a sinus infection, you will often have a fever, bright colored mucus from the nose in large amounts, and pain that is worse when you lay down . You may notice the pain is worse in the morning after sleeping for several hours. Occasionally, someone may have a chronic sinus infection, something that has been going on for several months. In this case, a person may not have any symptoms, and may not have a headache either.
If you have a severe headache with sinus type symptoms and also have light or sound sensitivity, upset stomach, lack of appetite, and no fever, and you notice the pain resolves in 4-36 hours- this may be a migraine. ;If you notice the pain improves when laying in a dark, quiet room, or when taking over the counter pain medication, this again goes along with migraine.
What Is Orofacial Pain
Orofacial pain is a field of dentistry. It deals with the diagnosis and care of nondental pain that presents in the head, face or neck, or inside your mouth. These types of disorders all have unique causes and treatments.
Orofacial pain is associated with a number of conditions. Some of the most common are musculoskeletal disorders like temporomandibular disorders . TMDs are disorders involving the temporomandibular joints , which help control the jaw. They also affect the muscles used to chew and talk, as well as other associated structures.
TMD is most prevalent in women, but overall, about 5 to 12% of people can have some form of TMD. A form of TMD, known as myofascial pain, presents referred pain. This is where pain is felt in a different part of the body than where its originating. For example, if your teeth hurt and your dentist did not find a dental cause for your pain, the pain may be referred from other muscles in your face or head.
Another facial pain disorder is trigeminal neuralgia. This is where brief, sharp, shooting, electrical and severe pain can be triggered by actions that dont normally hurt. For example, lightly touching your face, brushing your teeth, talking, chewing or shaving can all trigger pain in trigeminal neuralgia.
Burning mouth syndrome is another facial pain disorder. It involves a burning feeling inside your mouth and, commonly, in the tongue.
The Migraine Connection
Also Check: Can Ocular Migraines Cause Numbness
Sinusitis And Sinus Headaches
What most people dont realize is that;true sinus headaches are actually quite uncommon;and are often over diagnosed or misdiagnosed. Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses, often due to a bacterial infection. The sinuses are air pockets that are situated at certain points in the facial bones. Scientists are not certain the exact purpose of sinuses. Some believe that it helps enhance the voice through resonation while others believe it may be a way for the body to humidify the air during inhalation. They are usually empty but do have a very thin mucus layer along the walls.
There are;four pairs of paranasal sinuses, meaning that there are two at the same points on the left and right. They are:
- Frontal sinuses: above the eyes just over the eyebrows
- Maxillary sinuses: on each side of the nose, in the cheekbone
- Ethmoid sinuses: between the eyes, under the bridge of the nose
- Sphenoid sinuses: behind the eyes and ethmoid sinuses
Inflammation of the sinuses can occur due to bacterial, viral, or fungal causes and can present in one of the sinus pair, or several. If there is an infection present, it is important that it is treated. Failure to properly treat a sinus infection can cause serious health risks and can create a propensity to develop sinus infections in the future.
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Disorder
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction is often caused by a variety of factors, including daily habits, your teeth alignment, and even stress. It usually affects one side of the jaw, but in some people it can affect both sides. People with TMJ dysfunction will typically experience pain on one side of the face that is worse with chewing, yawning, or other movements of the jaw. With some simple changes in your daily habits and other at-home treatments, most people with TMJ dysfunction will experience relief of their symptoms within weeks.
Treatment for temporomandibular joint dysfunction usually includes avoiding eating hard foods or foods that require a lot of chewing. Good posture and relaxation techniques may help relieve tension in the muscles that connect to your temporomandibular joint. In people who clench or grind their teeth, a mouth guard worn at night may also help relieve your symptoms. Pain relievers, like ibuprofen , can also help.
Top Symptoms: dizziness, pain, restricted movement, and clicking sounds from jaw, history of headaches, jaw pain, pain in the back of the neck
Symptoms that always occur with temporomandibular joint dysfunction disorder: pain, restricted movement, and clicking sounds from jaw
Urgency: Primary care doctor
Read Also: Medication For Migraines List
Rutgers Strives To Raise Global Awareness Of Dentists Trained In Orofacial Pain To Diagnose Elusive Pain Syndromes
The U.S. Surgeon General cited facial pain as a major component of trigeminal neuralgia, facial shingles, temporomandibular disorders and fibromyalgia. The report said 22 percent of U.S. adults reported some form of oral or facial pain in the previous six months.
When Maria, then 22, began experiencing pain, she felt it intermittently, mostly in the left upper jaw area. Thinking she had sinusitis, she visited an ear, nose and throat specialist. The ENT found no explanation for the pain. With the pain intensifying and lasting hours and sometimes days at a time, she also consulted her dentist, who suspected that faulty restorations were to blame.
When we took her medical history, we learned that her mother and grandmother suffered from migraine headaches, Rafael Benoliel, a professor at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine; where he is director of the Center for;Orofacial Pain and Temporomandibular Disorders. Migraines are genetic in nature but I still wasnt certain until we looked at the whole picture and considered everything we had observed.
Her case is used at the dental school to explain atypical mid-face migraines but also to illustrate the value of interdisciplinary care, particularly when the evidence for a diagnosis and treatment plan is not clear.
A misdiagnosis not only may lead to inappropriate treatment and expense, it can delay reaching an accurate, timely diagnosis of conditions with potentially severe consequences, Heir said.
Symptoms Of A Migraine
Migraines can vary from person to person and even from attack to attack. There are a wide range of;migraine symptoms, but the most common include:
- ;;;;;;;;Head pain, often over one eye or on one or both sides
- ;;;;;;;;Sensitivity to light
- ;;;;;;;;Ear pain
To further compound the confusion between these two conditions, even treatment options are similar. Many people are very surprised to discover that sinus medications and treatments relieve their migraine pain. Dr. Ailani explains:
Migraine can improve when using products like Sudafed or Advil cold/sinus. These medications work to reduce some of the chemicals that are elevated during a migraine, so dont be fooled into thinking that if you feel better with Sudafed, it is a sinus issue. Overuse of these medications can lead to more headaches, so if you find yourself using these medications more than 2-3 days a week, seek medical attention for an appropriate diagnosis.
A diagnosis of either a migraine or a;sinus headache;is the first step in finding treatment that works.
How Are Migraines Treated
Migraines that are severe, frequent or accompanied by neurological symptoms are best treated preventively, usually with a combination of dietary modification, lifestyle changes, vitamins and daily prescription medications. Most of our best preventive medications are often used for other medical purposes as well; the majority are blood pressure drugs, antidepressants or epilepsy medications. Individual headache attacks are best treated early, often with one or more of the following types of medications: triptans, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , anti-emetics , and sometimes narcotics or steroids.
Migraines typically last a few hours to a couple of days and respond well to specific treatments. However, in some patients, the migraine is particularly severe and long-lasting and may even become chronic, occurring continuously for weeks, months or even years. If improperly managed or left untreated, intermittent migraines may essentially transform into a chronic daily headache, with continuous and smoldering symptoms that periodically erupt into a “full-blown” migraine. This condition is extremely difficult to treat.
At the Johns Hopkins Headache Center, located at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical center, we have expert physical therapists, nutritionists and psychologists who work closely with our neurologists to help manage patients with frequent migraines. Biofeedback and relaxation techniques are available to complement our standard medical treatments.
Headaches Occur After Jaw Activity
One of the most important clues that link headaches with TMJ is the fact that intense jaw activity sets off your headaches. This can include chewing tough foods, opening your mouth wide, talking for long periods of time, and other activities that put your jaw muscles to the test.
This is perhaps ironic because more and more research says;TMJ is associated mostly with migraines, not tension-type headaches. This is not to say that only migraines are linked to TMJ, but it seems that TMJ tends to worsen migraines more than it worsens other types of headaches.
Don’t Miss: Can You Get A Fever With A Migraine
Types Of Headaches And Facial Pain
There are many different kinds ofheadaches and causes of facial pain, all of which come with a wide range of symptoms.
There are two types of headaches, primary and secondary. Primary headaches are conditions that exist on their own, unrelated to other illnesses. Secondary headaches are caused by another health condition, such as trauma or disease.
Types of headaches include:;
Is There A Dental Connection With Headaches
If you are suffering from a toothache and a headache simultaneously, you may wonder whether both are related in some way. Your toothache could be triggering your trouble, or maybe the two are indicating signs of an underlying health problem like a TMJ disorder or a sinus infection.
This blog is looking at some connections between toothaches and headaches and what they mean for your care.
You May Like: What Piercing Is For Migraines
When To Get Medical Advice
You should see a GP if you have frequent;or severe migraine symptoms that cannot be managed with occasional use of over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol.
Try not to use the maximum dosage of painkillers on a regular or frequent basis as this could make it harder to treat headaches over time.
You should also make an appointment to see a GP if you have frequent migraines , even if they can be controlled with medicine, as you may benefit from preventative treatment.
You should call 999 for an ambulance immediately if you or someone you’re with experiences:
- paralysis;or weakness in 1 or both arms or 1 side of the face
- slurred or garbled speech
- a sudden agonising headache;resulting in a severe pain unlike anything experienced before
- headache along with;a high temperature , stiff neck, mental confusion, seizures, double vision and a rash
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
Don’t Miss: Remedy For Migraine While Pregnant
Where Facial Pain Occurs
Facial pain typically happens around the temples and forehead for most people, though areas under the eyes and in the region of the jaw can be affected, Dr. Morris Levin, a professor and director of the Headache Center at the University of California San Francisco department of neurology, told Healthline.
The upper part of the spine can affect the head and face, or act as a trigger for facial pain and headaches. People are not aware that a lot of head and face pain actually indicate an issue in the neck. Treating headache and facial pain without addressing the underlying neck issues often misses the mark, Khelemsky said.
Pain within the sinus region is often misdiagnosed as sinus headache, added Dr. Deena Kuruvilla, an assistant professor of neurology at the Yale School of Medicine. In the headache world, there is no such thing as sinus headache. It is much more likely to be migraine or another primary headache disorder.
Overall, most patients do not connect facial pain and headaches, according to Kuruvilla.
We often hear patients complaining about jaw pain with headaches or migraine and eye pain, she said.
Facial pain is complicated because trigeminal neuralgia is different from migraine, which is distinct from atypical facial pain. Also, part of the brain stem thought to generate migraine gives signals to a nerve circuit that includes three branches reaching the face.
Migraine and facial pain can be very closely intertwined, she added.
Referred Tooth Pain To Your Head
In addition to a toothache triggering a migraine, tooth decay or advanced gum disease can “refer” pain to the head.
Referred pain means that you feel a painful sensation in a different area of your body than the body part actually causing the pain. Again, this is due to the many nerve connections that connect the teeth and other facial structures to the brain.
It’s common for a person to go see their doctor for tension-type headaches or migraines when they really are experiencing a dental problem.
Read Also: Migraine Or Cluster Headache Quiz