Headache Treatment Dallas
Do you suffer from regular headaches? Are they sometimes disabling? Have you tried many solutions, but to no avail? Whether you’ve been diagnosed with tension headaches or migraines, TMJ may be either the primary cause or a major contributing cause. Either way, TMJ treatment can reduce the frequency and severity of your headaches, without drugs, and the numerous side effects they come with.
How TMJ Causes Headaches
You may think that your jaw doesn’t have anything to do with your headaches, but there are actually three different headache types that TMJ can cause:
- Tension headaches
- Migraine headaches
- Referred pain headaches
Some of these headaches are straightforward, and the mechanisms well understood. Others are mysterious and still need research before we fully understand them. What we do know for sure is that TMJ treatment can reduce the frequency and severity of these types of headaches in sufferers.
Tension headaches are well understood, as is their connection to TMJ. TMJ results in jaw muscles that are working very hard because your jaw is out of balance. When these jaw muscles are tense, they can pass this tension on to other muscles they partner with. Tension gets passed in this way from your jaw to your scalp (as well as your face and neck), which can cause tension headaches.
By putting your muscles in a more relaxed position, it reduces the amount of tension you feel in your scalp, which can reduce the frequency and severity of tensions headaches.
Migraine headaches are not fully understood, and neither is their connection to TMJ. One straightforward connection is that tension headaches can serve as migraine triggers. By reducing tension headaches with TMJ treatment, you can reduce migraines as well.
Other possible connections are more mysterious. Pain signals in migraines come from the trigeminal nerve, which may be affected by TMJ. It’s also possible that some TMJ-related event may trigger the vascular event (constriction of blood vessels) that is the first step in migraines.
If this seems an unlikely postulate, consider the relationship between ice cream headaches and migraines. Many people report that eating ice cream quickly in a way that leads to ice cream headaches can actually stop their migraines cold (if you’ll pardon the pun). It seems that the temperature drop in the mouth stimulates blood vessels in the brain to expand to increase blood flow. If this can stop migraines, it’s likely that migraines may respond to other nerve stimuli in this area.
Referred pain is a strange phenomenon. This is when you experience pain in one part of your body even though the source of the pain is in a different part. It’s the reason why people having a heart attack often feel the pain in your left arm rather than or in addition to the chest.
Although nerves run from every part of your body to your brain, they’re not specific, like telephone wires. They’re more like pipes, and the pain signals flowing down them are like water. When nerves come together to form larger nerves, the water flows together with no specific record of where it originated. Your brain makes guesses about the source of the pain, based on expected pain sources. Your brain may literally be mistaking jaw pain for a headache.
If you would like to learn more about how TMJ treatment may be able to reduce the severity of your headache, please call us at (817) 481-6888 or contact Grapevine Dental Care in Grapevine, Texas today.