If you suffer from migraines, you’re not alone – in fact, you’re part of a group that includes more than 38 million Americans. But did you know that your oral health may be playing a part in your condition?
There are two joints that connect your jaw to your skull (called temporomandibular joints, or TMJs). These are the joints that help you to open and close your mouth. When these joints, or the muscles that surround them, are sore, it can lead to a migraine. There are a couple factors which may lead to TMJ pain:
Clenching and grinding
It is not uncommon for people to clench their teeth when stressed, or to grind them when they sleep (this is known as bruxism). This can cause sensitive teeth, face or jaw soreness, earaches, teeth that have wear damage and more. The pain can also cause a migraine.
If your bite is uneven, it may put an extra burden on your jaw muscles to bring your teeth together. That added stress can build up over time, becoming painful.
Cavities or gum disease
If tooth decay has your mouth in a world of hurt, it may also be affecting your migraines. A cavity or gum disease can refer pain, making it seem like you have a headache or migraine rather than a tooth infection.
What you can do
If you have an uneven bite or if you believe you grind your teeth, talk to your dentist about treatment options. A mouth guard is a common treatment for brusixm, and orthodontics may be recommended to correct your bite. Be sure to see your dentist twice each year for preventive care. A little prevention can save you from toothaches, cavities and gum disease!