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What Is A Migraine?

A migraine is a severe type of headache that can be a scary experience for some sufferers. Some people may find everyday activities impossible when an attack starts. Sufferers report the symptoms lasting between 4 hours to as much as 72 hours. Symptoms of a migraine headache include, but are not limited to:

  • Moderate to severe headache
  • Altered vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Sensitivity to smells
  • Sensitivity to sounds
  • A feeling of nausea
  • Vomiting
  • A sensation of pins and needles
  • Difficulty when speaking
  • Numbness in areas of the body

Causes Of Migraines

There commonly known causes of migraines include:

  • Hormonal changes for women
  • Salty foods or processed foods
  • Fasting or skipping meals
  • Alcoholic beverages and caffeinated beverages
  • Stress
  • Bright lights
  • Strong smells
  • Inadequate sleep or too much sleep
  • High-intensity physical activities
  • Changes in weather
  • Certain medications

However, one cause that is not always considered is the jaw. The jaw may develop a disorder known as temporomandibular disorder (TMD). This disorder affects the temporomandibular joint, of which there are two. One joint is located on the right side, and one on the left side of the face. The joints connect the jaw to the rest of the skull. Pain in the joint or the muscles surrounding the joint may contribute to causing migraines.

Additionally, untreated tooth decay may cause migraines as well. The resulting infection that occurs due to an untreated tooth that is decayed generates pressure in the mouth. This pressure contributes to migraine pain for some sufferers.

How To Prevent Jaw Pain

woman grinding teeth and clenching fists

Bruxism, which describes continually grinding your teeth or clenching your teeth leads to jaw pain. However, the way you bite also causes jaw pain. These habits may be done while you are sleeping, which makes it hard to know you have an issue. Signs to look for that you may be clenching or grinding your teeth include:

  • Teeth that are flat on the top
  • Chipping on the top or edges of the teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Jaw pain or soreness in the face
  • An earache

Treatment of jaw pain relies on stopping the constant clenching or grinding of teeth. A mouth guard or night guard is a device worn over the top of the teeth to prevent damage to the tooth’s enamel. If the cause is due to your bite, bite correction through the use of dental braces, or a dental device will help. In some cases, jaw surgery is necessary. Stress relief activities or coping methods help some sufferers as well.

woman meditating to relieve stress

Talk to your dentist if you notice symptoms of teeth grinding or if you know that you clench your teeth. Your dentist will be able to diagnose the issue, and provide treatment options to prevent further damage to your teeth, and hopefully reduce the contributing factors to your migraines.


About Dr. Joseph Salvaggio

Dr. Joseph Salvaggio, DDS

Located in Brampton, Ontario Dr. Joseph Salvaggio has been practicing general, cosmetic, and implant dentistry for over 20 years. He enjoys interacting with his patients and helping to restore their oral health for better overall health as well. Meeting new patients, interacting and educating them is one of Dr. Salvaggio’s biggest joys. We encourage you to read our reviews or call us with any dental questions you have. We look forward to speaking with you and meeting you soon.

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