Not all headaches are created equal. Some can be excruciating, while others are a mere annoyance. Ask anybody who gets migraines, and they will tell you how debilitating they are. How hard it has been to find proper treatment and relief. For these people, what they may think of as a migraine may actually be a headache caused by an issue with their TMJ (temporomandibular joint).
TMJ disorders are something your local Rochester, Michigan, dentist can help treat. Dr. John Aurelia and the team at John L. Aurelia, D.D.S., PLLC, would like to give you some insight into how you can distinguish a migraine from a TMJ headache to ensure you get the correct treatment.
Migraines are neurological disorders characterized by a painfully intense headache (often throbbing in nature) that can often result in nausea and being overly sensitive to noises and light. These headaches can last for hours to days and can have a devastating impact on your daily life. Migraine pain is not exclusive to the head. Migraines can also manifest as pain on one side of the head or a pulsating sensation.
The temporomandibular joint connects the jaw to the skull on either side of the head. Issues with this joint and the surrounding muscles cause TMJ headaches. Those with TMJ disorders may experience pain around the jaw, face, and neck, which can radiate to the head. These headaches are often linked to jaw clenching, teeth grinding (bruxism), and problems with the joint itself.
TMJ headaches come with unique symptoms of their own. These may include jaw clicking or popping, difficulty opening or closing the mouth, and pain that worsens with jaw movement. TMJ headaches are often localized around the jaw and may be triggered by activities such as chewing or talking.
If you are experiencing chronic headaches, seeking professional assistance is crucial. A healthcare provider, dentist, or neurologist can help differentiate between migraines and TMJ headaches through a comprehensive evaluation. Imaging such as X-rays or MRI scans may be necessary to assess the jaw joint and surrounding structures.