TMJ Headaches vs. Migraines

Serving Brentwood, Belle Meade and Green Hills Areas of Nashville TN

Do you experience frequent, painful headaches? Migraine sufferers experience this every day. However, did you know that migraines often are misdiagnosed, leaving an underlying issue untreated? Dr. Brian Devine, a physiological dentist in Nashville, wants you to know that temporomandibular joint disorder cause headaches that easily get mistaken for migraines. TMJ and Airway Associates of Nashville wants to take a deeper look at the issue, exploring how TMJ headaches and migraines get confused, and how we can provide relief without the use of medication or surgery.

The Facts on Migraines

tmj and migraines

Currently, more than 38 million Americans suffer from migraines. The total number of people dealing with this problem could be even higher—up to 50 million, according to certain estimates. Migraines also remain somewhat of a diagnostic mystery for many physicians. We do know that, before an attack, migraine patients experience a chemical change in their brains that decreases serotonin levels.

How does TMJ disorder cause headaches?

TMJ disorder refers to a malfunctioning jaw joint. A patient with TMJ disorder often experiences jaw problems, but the consequences of this ailment could radiate throughout the body. Click here to learn more about the symptoms of TMJ disorder.

There are a few ways that TMJ disorder leads to headaches: 

  • Creates tightness in the muscles of the jaw, head, and neck
  • Exerts imbalanced forces on the jaw and neck muscles, leading to headaches
  • Compresses blood vessels and nerves

Why do TMJ headaches and migraines get confused?

Nerve compression is why TMJ headaches often get misidentified as migraines. TMJ headaches and migraines both are tension headaches involving the trigeminal nerve, a significant neural pathway. In the case of TMJ headaches, the trigeminal nerve sends pain signals to the outer covering of the brain, which leads to frequent and chronic headaches.

Even an experienced doctor could misdiagnose TMJ headaches as migraines, especially since they share some of the same symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Severe head pain
  • A visual hallucination or aura

Have you been diagnosed with migraines, but struggled to find relief? Even the most powerful migraine remedies only help manage headache pain but will prove incapable of treating how often the headaches occur. If this sounds familiar, consider a TMJ disorder consultation.

How TMJ and Airway Associates of Nashville Can Help

Dr. Brian Devine is a physiological dentist in Green Hills that studies the relationship between the bite and jaws. A physiological dentist has significant training in diagnosing and treating TMJ disorder. Dr. Devine treats TMJ disorder by establishing harmony between the alignment of the bite and jaw, and alleviating stress in the temporomandibular joint.

This approach is done without surgery or the use of pain medication.

Treating TMJ Headaches in Nashville

No one should live with the pain of chronic headaches. If your headaches are caused by TMJ disorder, we can help. Call the office of TMJ and Airway Associates in Nashville today at (615) 329-1854 to schedule a consultation.

TMJ and Airway Associates of Nashville provide treatment for TMJ disorder in Middle Tennessee, including Belle Meade and Green Hills.

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