TMD Aches vs. Migraines

Glendale Dentist Serving Phoenix, Scottsdale, Peoria, and nearby areas in Arizona

If you suffer from severe headaches, it is important to treat your pain at its source. Although temporomandibular joint disorder ("TMD" or "TMJ") can cause migraine-like headaches, the two types of headaches have different causes. One of the primary tasks of neuromuscular dentistry is to identify whether certain painful symptoms are caused by TMD.

Headache is one of many symptoms caused by TMD. When excessive pressure and physical stress is exerted on your temporomandibular joints, a headache may result. This pressure and stress can be caused by:

  • Teeth grinding
  • Jaw clenching
  • Bite misalignment
  • Jaw injury or trauma

Tooth fillings or nighttime guards may be necessary to treat TMD. If you seek help from a medical professional unfamiliar with TMD, your headaches may be incorrectly treated as migraines.

Caused by brain activity, migraines are triggered by certain things, including:

  • Stress
  • Noise
  • Lights
  • Certain foods
  • Certain smells
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Sleep problems
  • Second-hand smoke
  • Hormonal fluctuations

If your doctor believes you suffer from migraines, you may be treated with pain-relieving medications. Although your pain may be temporarily alleviated, your headaches will persist if actually caused by TMD. On the other hand, TMD treatment may reduce or eliminate this cause of headaches by ensuring the ligaments, muscles and TMJ structures are not under pressure.

If you are suffering from headaches and would like to learn more about TMD, please contact experienced Glendale, Arizona neuromuscular dentist Dr. Donald Wilcox to schedule a consultation at Desert Smiles Cosmetic & Sedation Dentistry.