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What causes TMJ headaches and migraines?

One of the most painful headache types is the ‘TMJ Migraine Headache’. These migraines may cause ‘Auras’ that are a sense of an impending migraine coming, affect vision, cause nausea, photosensitivity and severe pain. TMJ headaches and migraines are often related to a malocclusion (a bad or imbalanced bite) and TMJ treatments can effectively prevent TMJ migraine headaches from occurring. Common migraines are now understood to be the result of an increase in blood pressure or volume within the lining of the brain called the Dura Mater.

TMJ (Temporo Mandibular Joint) Tension headaches and migraines can also be the direct result of muscle knots in the temple area on the side of your head. This muscle, the Temporalis muscle, can become tired and often ‘cramps up’ while helping close the lower teeth to meet the upper teeth. Over-exertion of the Temporalis muscle is a direct result of a malocclusion, or in layman’s terms a bad or imbalanced bite.

TMJ migraines and headaches are often ‘referred’ pain

When your Temporalis muscles are relentlessly strained or squeezed, it can result in tension headaches. Other muscles can create other types of headaches. A neck muscle called the ‘trapezius’ can pinch nerves at the back of the head and cause a “sinus headache” behind the eye. It feels like a sharp pain behind the eye or a pressure behind the eye.

Many people think this is a sinus headache but in fact is referred muscle and nerve pain from the back of the skull. This referred pain may also cause a headache on the very top of your skull or on the side of your head above your ears.

Where is my TMJ?

The TMJ is the temporomandibular joint, located just in front of the ears on either side of the head. These joints are the hinges upon which your jaw moves when chewing and talking. The TMJ is considered the most complicated joint in the body because it can rotate up and down as well as slide, which is known as translation.

Dental malocclusion and muscle imbalances, strain from tooth clenching and grinding all affect the workings (physiology) of your body. Bringing balance back into the body helps you fight the painful occurrence of both TMJ Tension Headaches and Migraines.

Treatment of TMJ migraines and headaches

A NUCCA Chiropractor can help align the head and neck and improve the blood flow. This could affect the occurrence of TMJ migraines and headaches.

A NUCCA Chiropractor can help align the head and neck and improve the blood flow. This could affect the occurrence of TMJ migraines and headaches.

Treatment is usually started with removable orthotics and definitive changes are only made after successful initial treatment: The use of ultra low frequency TENS allows accurate evaluation of the effect of relaxed muscles on dental orthotics.

If you suffer from TMJ headaches or migraines, a neuromuscular dentist (Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, Arlington Heights IL) like Dr. Tom Meyer (MeyerDentalGroup.net) can help.

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