Can migraine headaches signal a dental problem?

Can migraine headaches signal a dental problem?

If you get migraines, you may think that you’re familiar with all of the things that might trigger them. Hormones, chocolate, stress and bright lights often are some of the first to come to mind. Did you know, though, that the root of your severe headaches may be somewhere in your mouth?

Yes, a visit to your dentist may be another component of your migraine treatment plan. In fact, if your headaches are caused by a dental issue, traditional migraine treatment may be ineffective.

Dentists offer treatments for temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, which is a collection of conditions that result from problems with the jaw.

A misaligned jaw can lead to muscle strain that brings on headaches, and eliminating the misalignment can reduce the burden on the muscles. As such, oral surgery may be an effective intervention for migraine sufferers. Such surgery can bring the jaw into the proper alignment, and the muscles will function as intended.

TMJ may not necessarily require an oral surgery procedure, though. An oral surgeon or another dental specialist may also treat TMJ with more conservative measures, like massage or stress management. Orthodontics can also be used to address malocclusions or other problems with the jaw.

Bruxism, or grinding of the teeth, may also contribute to migraine-type headaches. Of course, bruxism is often associated with stress, which is also a factor in migraines.

As is the case with TMJ, bruxism can be treated by a dental specialist and most often requires the patient to wear a mouthguard at night. Bruxism may also respond to stress management techniques.

Infection and abscesses may also cause severe headaches, and dentists will look for evidence of those issues when examining a patient who complains of migraines, too.

If you’ve begun to get migraine headaches or continue to have them despite undergoing a variety of treatments, schedule a consultation with oral surgeon, Dr. Carlos Ibanez, to determine if the cause is really a problem with your teeth or jaws. Call 434-295-0911 for more information.