Nearly five million people across the United States suffer from at least one migraine a month. Even more disturbing is that almost 11 million people blame migraines for causing moderate to severe disability. While your primary care physician is an excellent person to turn to, Dr. Udoff, whose field of expertise is disturbances of the muscles of mastication as well as the TMJ, may be able to help. That is because our dentist Dr. Udoff has an in-depth understanding of the orofacial structures and how they may contribute to migraine pain. Let’s discuss how TMJ problems are related to migraines and how you may be able to find relief from your pain.
What Are Migraines? What Causes Them?
A migraine is more than just a headache. Rather, it is debilitating, throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head. It is often accompanied by other neurological symptoms, such as dizziness, vomiting, visual disturbances, and extreme sensitivity to light or smells.
Migraines are often a response to overstimulation of the trigeminal nerve, or when it is overly sensitive to normal amounts of stimulation. The trigeminal nerve is the largest cranial nerve, and it serves as a major pain pathway. It is also the motor nerve for mastication — in a nutshell, that means it plays a role in helping you chew. Therefore, it only makes sense that TMJ problems can irritate the nerve and therefore lead to migraine pain. Studies are showing that women suffer from TMD up to 5 times more than men.
Migraines and TMJ Disorder
TMJ disorder, sometimes simply called TMD, is an umbrella term for any number of issues that affect the joint that connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the rest of the skull (maxilla) (the Temporal Mandibular Joint TMJ). One study conducted by researchers in Brazil found that in 100 percent of the participants who suffered from chronic migraines, symptoms of TMD were also present. 80 percent of participants with less frequent migraines suffered from TMD symptoms.
The study had a relatively small sample size. Only a total of 84 people, all of whom were women, participated. However, it supports previous research that established a connection between migraines and pain in the chewing muscles.
How Your Dentist Can Help
Your dentist in Middletown, Dr. Scott Udoff, takes a holistic approach to treatment, which means that he is deeply interested in the overall well-being of his patients. In line with providing the best care possible, he has undergone advanced training that qualifies him to evaluate and treat TMD. When you visit him for a consultation, he will seek to pinpoint the cause of your pain before he explains your treatment options. After you begin TMJ therapy, you’ll notice less pain in your jaw. It’s also very possible that you’ll experience less frequent migraines and headaches.
Are you ready to find relief from your pain and get back to enjoying your life? Visit Dr. Scott Udoff to learn more about how TMJ therapy may restore vitality to your life.
About the Author
Dr. Scott Udoff is passionate about science and about establishing warm connections with his patients. He combines his extensive education with his compassion to provide top-quality holistic dental care to the Middletown community. If you would like to learn if he can help you find relief from TMD and its related symptoms, contact our office at 845-342-2550 to schedule a consultation.