ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — A migraine is the third most common illness in the world, affecting about 12 percent of the population. Now, a new study shows they may also be linked to a common jaw disorder.
Anyone who’s had a migraine knows one bad attack can ruin your whole day.
A migraine episode can cause pain, vision loss, nausea, and sensitivity to light. A new study shows people who have chronic migraines are also three times more likely to have symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, for short. It’s a condition that affects the jaw joint and surrounding muscles causing pain, reduced jaw movement, and a clicking or popping sound in the jaw.
“NIH did a study where they found that between four and 15 percent of the population of patients have pain, discomfort or dysfunction that would benefit from treatment,” Ray Becker, DDS, FAGD, Howard County Smiles, told Ivanhoe.
Treatments include night guards, relaxation exercises, anti-anxiety or pain meds, dental work, nerve stimulation, injections, lasers, and in some cases, surgery. Talk to your doctor or dentist if you have frequent migraines and jaw pain. The right treatments could lessen your pain and have you feeling better in no time.
If you’re wondering … while migraines put you at risk for TMJ, the reverse doesn’t seem to be true. So, a severe case of TMJ isn’t likely to increase your risk of developing migraines.
Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor
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MIGRAINE UPS RISK OF TMJ
BACKGROUND: A migraine is a neurological disease with extremely incapacitating neurological symptoms. It’s typically a severe throbbing recurring pain, usually on one side of the head. But, in about one-third of attacks, both sides are affected. Attacks are often accompanied by one or more of the following disabling symptoms: visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, extreme sensitivity to sound, light, touch and smell, and tingling or numbness in the extremities or face. Migraines are the third most prevalent illness in the world, and nearly 1 in 4 U.S. households includes someone with a migraine. Amazingly, 12 percent of the population, including children, suffer from migraines. Migraines are most common between the ages of 25 and 55, and about 90 percent of migraine sufferers have a family history of them. While most sufferers experience attacks once or twice a month, more than 4 million people have chronic daily migraine, with at least 15 migraine days per month. And, more than 90 percent of sufferers are unable to work or function normally during their migraine. Attacks usually last between 4 and 72 hours.
MIGRAINE AND TMJ CONNECTION: Research has shown that issues affecting the jaw have a prominent role to play in many migraine patients. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can have an impact on your migraines for a number of reasons. This joint is the hinge connecting the lower jawbone to the skull, which enables us to move the jawbone as needed for talking, yawning and eating. The joint gets its support from muscles located underneath the jaw in the throat area, the cheeks, on top and at the sides of the head. These are connected by tendons to muscles in the chest and shoulders. In patients with malocclusion or a “bad bite” the TMJ might be out of alignment, which causes strain on the adjoining muscles. When the muscles in the face and head are affected by the strain, the patient can develop a migraine headache attack. People with migraines suffer from a disorder of the trigeminal nerve, which produces chemicals in response to stimulation. The nerve typically only responds when it senses a need to protect itself. When it does, the chemicals released can cause swelling around the brain and sinuses, resulting in migraine headache pain. Unusual clenching of the teeth and jaw during sleep or any other time can impact your trigeminal nerve system and make you more susceptible to migraines.
NEW DRUG CUTS MIGRAINES IN HALF: The results of a recent study represent an incredibly important step forward for migraine treatment after it was revealed that a drug called erenumab could more than halve the number of migraine attacks for people with the condition. Study leader, Dr. Peter Goadsby, from King’s College Hospital in the United Kingdom, has revealed that the drug led to “significant and meaningful” benefits for people with episodic migraine over the course of 6 months, with around half of them seeing their number of migraine days fall by at least 50 percent. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating migraine, and prevention and management of migraine attacks may involve a combination of off-label medications and non-drug approaches. Finding an effective treatment strategy involves trial and error. Because the precise causes of migraine remain unclear, the development of new treatments for the condition is hugely challenging. The new study, however, may bring us one step closer to the approval of a drug designed specifically for the prevention of migraine.
* For More Information, Contact:
Ray Becker, DDS, FAGD