Houston TMJ dentist Dr. Konig explains the relationship between a common phenomenon—migraine headaches, and the causal relationship to TMJ problems.
Some quick facts about pain as reported by the Migraine Research Foundation:
- Nearly 1 in 4 households includes someone with migraine
- American employers lose more than $13 billion each year as a result of 113 million lost workdays due to migraine.
- Chronic illness – a category into which migraine can fall - is one of the country's biggest healthcare challenges, and costs an estimated $50 billion per year.
- Migraine sufferers, like those who suffer from other chronic illnesses, face the consequences of high costs of medical services, too little support, and limited access to quality care.
- People with migraine use about twice the medical resources –including prescription medications and office and emergency room visits– as non-sufferers.
What is not well known is that many migraines are a result of TMD dysfunction, more commonly known as TMJ problems. Many patients taking medicine trying to control their pain and migraines fail to realize that their pain is caused by bad bites that overwork the head and neck muscles.
The field of neuromuscular dentistry or more accurately, physiologic dentistry, deals with these issues. Almost all of these cases can be treated non-surgically and can help get patients get off medicine and return them to a pain free life.
Janet Travell MD, a world-renowned pain specialist, stated that almost all pain is muscular in nature. Her statement applies to migraines as well. The overworked muscles of the head, neck, and jaw joints cause pain to many areas of the face and head, which mimic migraine symptoms.