June is Migraine Awareness Month – and Migraine Canada, a coalition of doctors and healthcare professionals, is encouraging Canadians to become familiar with both the physical and emotional impact these debilitating headaches can have on those who suffer from them.
The IHS estimates that 3.4 million Canadians suffer from migraine headaches, though only half have undergone a clinical diagnosis. This results in a cumulative 7 million lost working days and 112 million bedridden days for affected workers, costing Canadian businesses CA$15.7 billion annually. And still many people don’t know what migraines are.
Symptoms of a migraine include:
- Severe head pain
- Generalized facial pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Visual auras
More common in women than in men, migraines often require heavy medication and prevent any activities from occurring until they have passed.
Is a TMJ Headache the Same as a Migraine?
TMJ headaches have some symptoms in common with migraine headaches, but they are not the same thing. Migraines are a neurological disease. TMJ disorders (TMD) are neuromuscular. And where migraines require medication, TMJ treatment may be accomplished with an occlusal guard, muscle relaxation, and stress reduction.
Some studies have found a connection between migraine headaches and TMJ disorders, but there is no evidence that TMD treatment will reduce or treat migraines. However, if you are suffering from TMD, migraine treatment may fail to produce lasting results. This is one of the most compelling reasons to have chronic head pain evaluated by a dentist who is trained in neuromuscular therapies.
Symptoms of TMD may include head pain, ear pain, pain behind the eyes, and neck and back pain. Often these are accompanied by clicking and popping noises in the jaw, grinding noises when chewing, and pain localized around the jaw joint. If you have struggled with any of these symptoms, Dr. Kendra Schick can perform a thorough evaluation of your jaw joints to determine if TMD is present. With proper diagnosis, this condition can be treated and, with continued care, may even be eliminated.
Please call Evolution Dental at 403-208-9965 to schedule a consultation today. Located in Calgary, we welcome patients from all surrounding areas of Alberta.