Suffering with relentless recurring migraines? Feel like you’ve tried everything, and nothing is helping? Sick of taking medication?
“Headaches are one of the most common conditions associated with temporomandibular disorder (TMD)”1
Have you been suffering from migraines and not getting much relief? Do you find you’re in constant need of treatment for it? Or, without any treatment it all comes back?
Do you find that you’re constantly taking your meds to keep it at bay otherwise you have a full-blown migraine around the corner? I have heard far too many times that patients have been told “it is what it is” or “there’s nothing else that can be done”.
Yet no one has ever thoroughly assessed them for Jaw dysfunction, a significant issue for many Migraine sufferers.
At the jaw joint or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) there’s nerve called your trigeminal nerve that passes right through it. It comes from your brainstem and innervates your face with sensation and movement! It’s critical in updating the brain with what’s happening with the facial changes (like jaw position, skin sensation etc). Like a freeway of information, Information passes both up and down it.
Each nerve has a different amount of chat space, or bandwidth, it has with the brain. With areas of less importance the brain doesn’t dedicate that much real estate to it, whereas things that are vital, the brain will give it the floor.
The trigeminal nerve is one of those important nerves. Your facial area is a very important structure. For example, if you couldn’t communicate with someone how to perform a task that may save your life, then you’re in trouble. These are the kinds of functions that the trigeminal nerve has. Therefore, the brain cares so much about what it has to say.
So, what does this mean for your migraine? If the nerve is overstimulated due to a dysfunctional TMJ then it might just overload the brain by providing it with a whole heap of input.
Over a long period of time this can cause large amounts of cortical stimulation which can lead to inflammatory changes to your brain which can lead to migraine.
The TMJ is the biggest cause of this trigeminal trigeminal irritation. So, making sure it’s functioning correctly often results in a significant difference to migraine sufferers. This is why I just don’t understand when patients tell me they’ve been everywhere and no one has ever properly assessed their TMJ.
I say properly, because TMJ problems can be very simple or very complicated to find and sort out. This is because there’s loads of things that can actually change how it functions. Most of these things have to do with what’s going on upstairs.
Have you ever felt really stressed or worried and start to feel really tight through your jaw? Do you know of foods that will trigger your migraine almost every time you have it?
Strangely enough things that change how your brain works can also alter how your jaw works. Nerves that pass in and out of brain are connected and changes to one nerve can have widespread effects on others, especially those as important as our trigeminal nerve.
Like I said, it’s like a freeway. Things that happen inside our brain can cause changes to the nerve itself. These changes to the trigeminal nerve can cause anything it supplies to work differently.
Our team has seen hundreds of migraine cases that have been massively helped by improving TMJ dysfunction.
With all this knowledge it still frustrates me that the TMJ dysfunction is one of the most commonly missed causes of irritation for migraine sufferers!
The great news is that these things aren’t complicated to work out.
If you have been suffering from migraines and haven’t had someone thoroughly asses your TMJ, I mean really thoroughly!… Then check out my tips below to see if your migraines might be stemming from your TMJ!
Here are my top 3 things you can do to see if TMJ dysfunction might be a problem for you and your migraines:
- Phonetic ‘s’ – Checking your jaws natural resting position is simple enough to do. The phonetic ‘s’ is a test we do to see if there are deviations to your jaw. Saying words like ‘66’ or Mississippi are a great way to see if your jaw is staying midline. Give it a try! Keep an eye on you upper and lower front teeth and see if they stay inline when saying the words.
- Facial measurements – Measure from the corner of your mouth to the outside corner of your eyes on both sides. They should be the same.
- Tenderness in temporalis – Touch both your temple muscles. Press lightly over the whole muscle. If there is tenderness, then most likely coming from dysfunctional TMJ.
TMJ dysfunction is so commonly missed in migraine, that we created a specific appointment just for this! If you’re truly interested in getting some help, I mean truly interested, then I’ll make this appointment available to you. But this is ONLY for people looking for solutions to getting their life back.
If that’s you, click here and I’ll be in touch.