Regular headaches can range from a minor nuisance to a disabling illness. Even if you’ve been diagnosed with migraines and are seeing a specialist like a neurologist, headache treatments are notoriously unreliable. The average migraine sufferer has already tried four different treatments, and still only about a third are happy with the results. Part of the reason that people don’t get good results is that headaches can be caused by many different conditions and illnesses, and many doctors don’t consider that the jaw might be the source of your headache.

If you are unhappy with your current headache treatment in Winston-Salem, please call 336-765-2921 or email Robinson Dental Studio today to learn whether TMJ might be part of the problem.

Could TMJ Be to Blame?

dreamstime_xs_26492651Not all regular headache sufferers have TMJ, so how do you know when TMJ might be behind your headaches? First, consider whether you have other TMJ symptoms, like:

  • Jaw pain
  • Irregular jaw motion or noises
  • Earaches or ringing in the ears
  • Vertigo or dizziness
  • Neck pain

If you have other TMJ symptoms that seem to coincide or alternate with your headaches, then it’s likely that TMJ is contributing to your headaches.

Another good sign that TMJ is playing a role in your headaches is that your headaches come and go with excess jaw activity. If, for example, headaches always follow a meal (such as steak) or snack (such as popcorn) where your jaw has to work extra hard. Even if that’s not the only time you get headaches that means that TMJ is probably part of the problem.

Migraines and TMJ

Many people think that migraines can’t be related to TMJ, but that’s not true. Many migraine sufferers actually do have TMJ. Part of the problem is that the diagnosis of migraines is somewhat nonspecific. There’s no good scientific test for migraines, so many people are diagnosed with migraines just on the basis of severe, regular headache pain, which could be related to TMJ tension headaches.

Other times, though, TMJ might serve as a migraine trigger. TMJ often causes tension headaches, which in turn can trigger migraines. Or TMJ might cause your joints or muscles to put excessive pressure on the trigeminal nerve or one of its branches. Excessive stimulation of the trigeminal nerve is one of the common stages in the development of a migraine.

Complete Relief?

So, can TMJ lead to complete relief of your headaches? That depends. For simple tension headaches, TMJ treatment is highly effective and can lead to complete or near-complete relief.

For migraines and other more complicated headaches, TMJ treatment can typically reduce the frequency and severity of your headaches, making it a useful adjunct to other migraine treatments.

And because TMJ treatment is typically drug free, it won’t interfere with your other migraine treatments.

To learn what results you might get from headache treatment in Winston-Salem, please contact Robinson Dental Studio.