People who get migraines know that when you feel one starting, you want to find a way to stop it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this can be difficult as in a lot of cases the cause of the migraine is unknown. One possible cause of migraines that may be worth looking into if you suffer from migraines is triggers in the mouth and jaw.
The sides of your jaw are connected to your skull by two joints called the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). These joints help you to open and close your mouth when you talk, eat, and yawn. In many cases, headache pain can begin as pain or stiffness in these joints. Reasons for pain or stiffness in the jaw can include clenching of the jaw – possibly from feeling stress, or teeth grinding during sleep. Many people who do these things may not even realize they are doing them, even though the habits may be contributing to their migraines.
Signs that you may clench your jaw or grind your teeth include flat, broken, or chipped teeth; sensitive teeth; pain and soreness in the jaw or face; a tired or tight feeling jaw; or earaches with no other war problems. TMJ pain may also be cause by the way a person’s bite is lined up. If the bite is uneven, the muscles in the jaw may need to work harder or unevenly to bring the jaw back together. Over time this can cause a great deal of jaw pain. Additionally, people who use their jaw a lot such as frequent gum chewers may find that they get pain and soreness in the jaw, which can result in headaches.
If you have issues with migraines, and suspect you may also have jaw or face pain – it may be worthwhile to have a dentist check your teeth and jaw to determine if TMJ pain may be attributing to the migraines. The dentist may recommend treatment such as a mouth guard to avoid clenching or grinding of the teeth, or dental treatments to correct your bite if necessary.
For people who get migraines, and suspect that it may be caused by a dental issue, it may be a good idea to check in with a dentist. Additionally, trying to avoid habits such as chewing the fingernails, holding a phone between the shoulder and ear, chewing gum frequently, and eating sticky foods can help to reduce TMJ pain and subsequent migraines.