A surprising cause of frequent Chicago headaches and migraines
We feel migraines and headaches when nerves send signals to tell us we have head pain. Some headaches are caused by stress, but migraines involve complicated issues with nerves.
It can be difficult to distinguish between a stress headache and a migraine, and the cause of headaches can sometimes be a reaction to a problem in another part of the body. Problems with the teeth and jaws is a common cause of headaches that is often overlooked.
Complex nerves and pain
The nerves in the head and face are complex and include the trigeminal nerve, which is located in the brain and supplies sensation to the head, including headaches. The trigeminal nerve also sends sensations to the teeth and jaws, and it controls the muscles used for chewing.
Because of the complex work the trigeminal nerve has to do, pain signals can sometimes get crossed. A problem with the teeth and jaws can trigger headache pain or even sensations in the eyes or ears due to the trigeminal nerve.
TMJ disorder 101
Temporomandibular joint or TMJ disorder is a jaw problem that frequently causes headaches and other facial pain. The jaws can be strained by injury or stress, such as stress that comes from overwork or is caused by a misaligned bite. Symptoms of TMJ disorder include:
- neck pain
- shoulder pain
- ringing in the ears
- vision problems or “floaters”
- pain extending into the back or other parts of the body
Dental treatment for headaches
If you have TMJ disorder that is caused by a misaligned bite or other problems with crooked, broken or missing teeth, having these dental problems treated could provide relief from headaches and other TMJ symptoms.
If your teeth are straight, there are treatments that use the principles of physiologic dentistry that could help.
- Orthotics, the use of a custom-fit mouthguard, can relieve jaw stress and ease TMJ symptoms
- Other treatments like nerve blocks can stop pain and keep it away for long periods of time
Find a solution for your pain
A Chicago physiologic dentist is one that specializes in the connection between the nerves, mouth and jaws, and diagnosing and treating TMJ disorder.
If you have frequent migraines and headaches, facial pain, vision or hearing problems like floaters or ear ringing, or any other symptoms in your head, teeth or face, call for a consultation appointment to talk about physiologic dentistry and how it may be able to help.