Migraine headaches affect thousands of people in Westchester County. In many cases, people who suffer from these debilitating headaches take powerful prescription pain medications to help deal with the discomfort. These medications may work to treat the symptoms of migraine headaches, but they fail to address the underlying problem. In turn, they provide some immediate relief, but are incapable of preventing future occurrence of migraines. These powerful pain medications also come with serious side effects.

Other times, people take medications that to prevent migraines from occurring. These medications sometimes provide relief, but other times do not. As with pain medications, these also come with serious side effects.

One of the most common, yet frequently overlooked, contributors to migraine headaches is temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), a disorder caused by a misalignment of your jaw. When your jaw is misaligned, the muscles in and surrounding it have to work harder, causing muscle strain and tension. Because the muscles in your jaw are connected to the muscles in your head, neck, and back, tension and strain impact all of these muscles as well. This results in symptoms of TMJ such as neck and backaches, and migraine or tension headaches.

If your current migraine medication or other treatment isn’t providing you relief, we may be able to help. Please call (914) 526-2144 to schedule an appointment with our neuromuscular dentists, Dr. George Sepiashvili and Dr. Wanda Mejia, at Advanced Dentistry of Mohegan Lake.

Brown haired woman with a migraine closes her eyes and rubs her forehead

How Can TMJ Cause Migraines?

We don’t fully understand what causes migraines. Therefore, we aren’t entirely clear on the connection between migraines and TMJ. However, we know that the trigeminal nerve is a key trigger point for migraines. We also know that the trigeminal nerve controls the jaw muscles. In some cases, we suspect that TMJ leads to stressed jaw muscles, which then overload the trigeminal nerve. This sets off migraines. Other times, tension headaches related to TMJ might set off migraines.

Treating Migraine Headaches with Neuromuscular Dentistry

Mohegan Lake neuromuscular dentists Dr. Sepiashvili and Dr. Wanda Mejia have received training in the detection and treatment of TMJ. When you come to our office for a migraine evaluation, an internal and external examination is made of your jaw to see if TMJ may be the culprit. If TMJ is detected, we will use a TENS unit to relax the muscles in your jaw, and determine your correct bite.

Once determined, we may suggest that you wear an orthotic to help your jaw stay in a restful position at night. Restorative dentistry procedures may be recommended if you want to achieve the same results without wearing the orthotic. In any case, your headache treatment will be customized to meet your needs, and provide you relief from future migraines.

We work closely with a local neurologist in treating our migraine headache patients. In this way, we can treat the root cause of your migraines, and prevent future occurrences — freeing you from both future pain, and a reliance on prescription medications.

If you live in or around Westchester County and suffer from chronic migraine headaches, please call (914) 526-2144 or email our neuromuscular dentists at Advanced Dentistry of Mohegan Lake to schedule a TMJ evaluation today.