Could Your Migraine Be Caused by Undiagnosed TMJ?
Many migraine sufferers are not aware that their migraines may be caused or made worse by TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder). They may not know that a problem involving the teeth and jaw could cause such intense pain. Also, primary physicians do not always consider TMD as a possible cause of migraines since they usually are not trained in neuromuscular dentistry.
Did you know that people who suffer from chronic migraines are 4 times more likely to have TMJ? (Gonçalves M, Florencio LL, Chaves T, et al. Do women with migraine have higher prevalence of temporomandibular disorders? Braz J Phys Ther. 2013;17:64-68.)
The latest research shows that Migraines occur due to activation of the trigeminovascular system (TGVS) which consists of the trigeminal nerve (the trigeminal nerve supplies sensation to the head, face, lips, jaws and sinuses) and nerve fibres which innervate blood vessels inside and outside the brain.
Head pain occurs when these blood vessels dilate following release of a ‘soup’ of neurochemicals due to activation of the TGVS. This ‘soup’ of neurochemical also causes inflammation. Activation of the TGVS can occur due to stimulation of the nerve endings of the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve endings are located in the cranium, face, teeth, jaws, jaw joints and face/jaw muscles. Therefore, painful stimulation from any of these areas can cause activation of the TGVS and ultimately migraines.
Migraine is the most prevalent primary headache in individuals with temporomandibular disorders (Journal Of Orofacial Pain, 24(3), 287-292).
The trigeminal nerve provides 50% of the input into the brain, indicating its importance to the brain and your well-being. The jaw joints in particular are densely innervated and therefore potentially something as simple as slipped disc in the joint could be the cause of over activation of the TGVS.
It is now understood that the nerves that supply sensation to the neck, back and internal organs also join the trigeminal nerve before being processed in the brain.
Put simply: dysfunction in the neck, face, cranium, jaws, muscles and other areas of the body such as the lower back or irritable bowels, activates the constant low grade, chronic nervous system. This has the potential to make an individual susceptible to migraines due to direct and indirect activation of the trigeminal nerve.
Being able to treat the dysfunction in the entire body with help of Dr Shah, TMJ dentist and Dr Dowker, holistic chiropractor we have helped many patients with debilitating migraines.
Please come in for our comprehensive TMJ diagnosis.