June is Migraine & Headache Awareness Month, and as anyone who has ever suffered a migraine can tell you, they aren’t fun. While it may seem weird to get a message about migraines from my Spokane dental office, trust us, you’ve come to the right place.
What is a Migraine?
Similar to a headache in that there is throbbing head pain, migraines are usually more intense, more painful, and could be debilitating. Unlike most headaches, migraines usually affect only one side of the head and have additional symptoms including:
- Light or sound sensitivity
- Pain behind an eye or ear
- Temple pain
Sometimes people can sense a migraine coming on because they experience sensations anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes prior to actually feeling a migraine. This is known as ‘migraine with aura’ and some signs include:
- Trouble focusing
- Tingling/numbness in the hands or face
- Seeing lights/flashing lights or obscure lines
How are Migraines and Dentistry Related?
When looking at the cause of migraines, much of the focus is on the head since that’s where the symptoms tend to show. However, some migraines may have an underlying dental cause.
Research suggests a possible correlation between a bad bite (malocclusion) and migraines. A bad bite results when the top teeth and the bottom teeth don’t line up in way that allows the jaw to completely relax. When the teeth don’t align, excessive pressure is put on the TMJ (temporomandibular joint), which is where your lower jaw attaches to your upper jaw, resulting in pain. The muscles that contribute to the anatomy of your jaw are also linked to your head, so when they’re stressed and painful, your head may also be stressed and painful, leading to a migraine.
You shouldn’t have to live with the pain of recurring migraines. If you’ve been suffering from persistent headaches or migraines and haven’t been able to find relief with other treatment, give my Spokane dental office a call to schedule an appointment. We can evaluate your bite and overall oral health and recommend the best solution for you.