One billion people across the globe suffer from migraines, While migraines aren’t a specific oral disease, they can be related to tooth pain and certain conditions causing oral or facial pain.
What’s a Migraine?
A migraine is more than a powerful headache – it’s a debilitating neurological disorder. In fact, a headache is only a symptom of a migraine, which can result in acute pain throbbing on either or both sides of your head. Some people, though, don’t get a headache but only experience migraine’s other symptoms.
Chronic migraine sufferers can:
- Experience nausea, dizziness, vomiting, facial tingling or numbness, and sensitivity to light and sound during an episode – which might last for four hours to as long as three days
- Have up to 15 days per month marred by a migraine
- Miss multiple days of work or school
- Increase the risk of other conditions such as depression and anxiety
Many factors can trigger a migraine, including lifestyle and environmental factors, weather, hormones, and medications.
What’s the Migraine-Tooth Pain Connection?
Orofacial refers to your head (face, jaw, etc.), neck, and oral cavity (teeth, gums, etc.). The following orofacial conditions share certain migraine triggers, such as stress. These can intensify migraines, and you might mistake migraine pain for dental pain.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD)
TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, results when the modified ball and socket joint connecting your upper and lower jaw doesn’t function correctly. The joint’s main purpose is to move the lower jaw in three directions: forward, backward and side-to-side. TMJ can feel as though your jaw clicks and pops or as if it becomes momentarily stuck.
TMJ symptoms include:
- Severe headaches or migraines
- Clicking or popping sounds
- Tender jaw muscles
- Earaches and toothaches
Your dentist can diagnose TMJD and offer you solutions for jaw pain. Reducing symptoms related to muscle tension can alleviate the accompanying headache you might have.
Other ways to relieve or cope with TMJ pain include avoiding excess chewing (such as chewing gum), making time for regular exercise, and massaging your jaw.
Teeth Grinding and Clenching
You might experience bruxism, the act of grinding or clenching your teeth, only while asleep or perhaps throughout the day. Bruxism can be caused by stress, misaligned teeth, or nerve and muscle diseases in the face.
Bruxism symptoms can include:
- Morning headaches
- Grinding sounds at night
- Tight jaw muscles
- Cracked or damaged teeth, leading to tooth pain
If you display any symptoms, seek out your dentist for a proper diagnosis. Your dentist can solve dental-related bruxism by fixing your alignment or fitting you for an anti-grinding mouthguard.
Stress-related bruxism can be treated with professional counseling, relaxation techniques, or prescription medication. Children tend to outgrow teeth grinding. If not, behavior changes, biofeedback (a technique that monitors muscle activity), and even Botox injections are other treatment options to consider.
If the pain and stress of a toothache are severe enough, migraines might result. Also, as we noted earlier, migraines can cause dental pain. This is due to a nerve injury related to both conditions.
If the cause of head pain stems from a cavity or gum issue, a dentist can help. However, if the dentist finds no tooth decay or gum disease, they can refer you to a neurologist for further diagnosis.
Tooth pain, jaw pain, headaches, or any facial pain might occur in conjunction with a migraine. Whatever is causing the pain, we don’t want you to just live with it. Talk to our team at Brookwater Dental to see if it’s an oral problem. Our team of dental professionals can either treat the pain or recommend a medical consultation. We want whatever is best for you to feel better and for you to smile more.Leave a reply →