Each June the American Headache & Migraine Association (AHMA) observes Migraine & Headache Awareness Month to bring knowledge and understanding about these disorders that plague nearly one out of eight Americans. So what’s this have to do with oral health? More than you may think.
What’s the Difference Between a Migraine and a Headache?
Both migraines and headaches have similar symptoms, including the most obvious, pain in the head that’s either dull and achy, or throbbing and pulsing. However, there are other symptoms that can help diagnose the pain as that of either a migraine or a headache.
Symptoms of a Headache
- Head pain is usually throughout either the entire head or forehead
- The pain isn’t focused on one side
- There are no other factors like dizziness or seeing flashing lights
Symptoms of a Migraine
- Pain is experienced on one side of the head (typically, although not always)
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Pain in the temple
- Pain behind one eye or ear
Although experienced in the form of head pain, some migraines may have dental-driven triggers. The most common and widely supported is a bad bite (malocclusion). When the top and bottom teeth don’t line up, excess pressure is put on the TMJ (jaw bone and muscles). Since the jaw is connected to the head, pain caused by a misaligned bite can manifest its way into the head, throwing off balance and leading to pain, nausea, and other debilitating symptoms.
If you’ve been experiencing migraines or headaches and haven’t found relief, consider giving our Cherry Hill, Gibbsboro, Haddon Heights, Linwood, or Washington Township dental offices a call to set up an appointment. We can evaluate your bite to see if perhaps it may be contributing to your pain. We’ll look at your overall dental health and recommend the most appropriate treatment for you. Don’t live your life waiting for the next migraine to hit… give your dentist a call.