Is TMJ causing your chronic headaches?

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How do you know you’re suffering from a migraine?

Migraines can often happen for a number of different reasons and are characterised by throbbing pain in one particular area of the head, which may vary in intensity. This pain may be triggered by sounds, light, scent and stress. Sometimes migraine headaches can also be triggered by hormonal changes in women, especially during pregnancy or menopause. Sometimes, migraines can be so severe that greatly affect sight and cause spells of nausea. Other common symptoms of migraines are mood swings, a stiff neck, confusion, pins and needles, problems with co-ordination and visual impairment.

The length of a migraine headache can vary from person to person, but symptoms can last anywhere from a few hours up to three days.

Is your headache a TMJ headache?

Many people that suffer from migraine headache are totally unaware that it may be caused due to undiagnosed TMJ. The symptoms are often very similar; however, there may be some common indications to suggest the influence of TMJ headache. These include:

  • Tight jaw or facial muscles
  • Jaw or facial pain
  • Clicking sound in your jaw
  • Restricted movement in your jaw
  • Changes in the way your top and bottom teeth fit together when biting

If you suffer from any of these symptoms, along with the common migraine symptoms listed, it is very important that you receive a proper medical diagnosis. While you await your diagnosis, there are some small changes that you can make to your lifestyle in order to accommodate the pain and changes you might be feeling. Doing the following could bring you some temporary relief:

  • Avoid hard or chewy foods.
  • When you’re yawning, try to avoid very wide movements.
  • When chewing, chew as slowly and as gently as you can. Avoid things like chewing gum, as it requires a lot of constant chewing.
  • Try to reduce your stress levels, as this sometimes can cause you to clench your jaw.

 Do I need surgery?

In most cases, you won’t require surgery. Surgery is generally a last resort and we try to avoid it if not deemed totally necessary. At TMJ Centre Melbourne, we treat TMJ and related conditions using dental and chiropractic treatments, at the same time, in the same room. When treating a patient holistically, these two complementary fields provide effective results for the patient.

We recognise that painful stimulation of nerve endings throughout the body may have an impact on directly or indirectly activating the trigeminal nerve, resulting in chronic migraine headaches. Our TMJ dentist, Dr Shah and our TMJ chiropractor provide a range of treatment options to effectively alleviate the pain caused by migraine headaches.

Some lifestyle changes can help manage pain during treatment

  • Eat soft food in order for your TMJ muscle to relax.
  • Limit jaw movements that rely on you opening your mouth wide like singing.
  • When yawning, develop a habit that will assist in yawning without your opening your mouth too wide.
  • Avoid biting your lip.
  • Avoid chewing gum and biting your nails.
  • Practice good posture.

These little changes might not seem like they could make a difference but over time they can provide ongoing relief and negate the need for further treatment.

If you suffer from chronic migraine headaches and are considering treatment for TMJ related symptoms, please contact the experienced team at TMJ Centre Melbourne today!