How Dentistry And Migraines Are Related

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A migraine is a throbbing pain usually on one side of the head. Unlike a normal headache, a migraine usually causes a pulsing sensation in the head and may be accompanied by extreme sensitivity to light, nausea, and vomiting. Severe migraines can last for hours, and for some, even days. Migraines are often extremely disabling and may interrupt your day-to-day activities. That’s why if you suffer from a migraine, you’ll want to address the pain as fast as possible.


Apart from disrupting daily activities, people suffering from migraines are at a higher risk of suffering from stroke, heart disease, and heart attacks. According to studies, both men and women with migraines are also more likely to have risk factors for high blood pressure and diabetes.


Several triggers cause severe migraines. These include both emotional factors like stress and depression and physical ones, like insufficient sleep, neck or shoulder tension, and physical overexertion. Patients who suffer from migraines report experiencing an aura (warning symptoms) like blind spots, flashes of light, tingling on one side of the face and/or difficulty speaking. Symptoms vary for different people.


There’s a link between dental health and migraines as you’ll see when you read on:


The main dentistry trigger that leads to migraines is pain in the temporomandibular joints (TMJs). TMJs are the two joints that connect your skull to either side of the jaw. They allow you to eat, talk, and yawn. The pain that starts on these joints often travels to your skull and in turn, causes a migraine. TMJ pain in many cases starts from emotional and psychological triggers. Stress might cause you to clench your jaw for prolonged periods during the day. 


If you grind your teeth in your sleep, this too could lead to pain that eventually develops into a migraine. Clenching the jaw and grinding teeth are often subconscious activities, making it difficult for many to discern it as a possible cause of migraines. You can conclude teeth grinding as the cause of your migraines if your teeth feel more sensitive than usual, if your jaw often feels tight and tired, if you experience soreness around the jaw area, and/or if you develop an earache and a medical physician concludes there’s nothing wrong with your ears.


Irregularities in your dental structure, like a missing tooth or misaligned teeth, force your jaw muscles to work harder to make a complete bite. This can, over time, also lead to TMJ pain that eventually develops to a migraine.


Health Canada and the FDA have both approved Botox injections as among the safest treatments for migraines that develop from TMJ dysfunction. They work by way of blocking nerve signals that cause muscle movement in the TMJs and in turn, reduce migraines. Also, lifestyle changes like taking smaller bites and avoiding chewing gum can greatly reduce migraines due to dentistry issues. Since irregularities in the dental structure can also cause migraines, if the cause of your migraines is related to your dental health, a visit to our Winnipeg Dental Clinicto see our TMJ specialist in Winnipeg will resolve your teeth issues, and as a result, resolve the migraines.


Article written by East Kildonan Dental

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