Migraine Headaches

Proudly serving patients in Chicago, Highland Park, North Shore & nearby areas of Illinois

Though it might seem unusual to visit your local dentist for chronic headaches, many migraine symptoms can begin with issues affecting the jaw. Dr. Ira L. Shapira is a Chicago neuromuscular dentist with expertise in the treatment of migraines caused by TMJ disorders.

The temporomandibular joint plays a key role in the function of the jaw. If the TMJ is misaligned, it can lead to migraines. Call North Shore Sleep Dentistry today at (847) 533-8313 to begin exploring headache relief. Dr. Shapira serves patients throughout the Chicago metro area.

How Migraines Are Connected to TMJ

The TMJ is a disc-shaped joint on both sides of the jaw. It allows you to open and close your mouth to speak, chew food, and perform other tasks. Loss of function in the joint, however, can make the force of the bite uneven at points along the jaw.

When too much pressure is applied on nerves in the face due to TMJ dysfunction, it can result in migraine headaches. However, not all chronic headaches are related to the TMJ. Other potential causes of migraines include:

  • Stress
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Genetic factors
  • High blood pressure
  • Systemic infection
  • Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders

Some of these issues might require urgent medical attention. In other cases, though, a TMJ and sleep apnea dentist can recommend custom migraine treatments that complement your overall health.

Migraine Symptoms

Though the symptoms of a headache might seem obvious, migraines affect more than just the head. Some patients experience sensory disturbances called “auras” that serve as a warning that a migraine is about to begin. Other sufferers might experience:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Blurry vision

Identifying the symptoms that accompany headaches can help Dr. Shapira suggest the best treatment options for you.

Diagnosing Migraines

An exam for TMJ dysfunction will involve a visual and physical inspection of your jaw joint. Other tests Dr. Shapira might perform to establish whether or not this disorder is causing migraine headaches include:

  • X-rays: To view the bone structure of the jaw and the position and health of teeth
  • MRI: To assess soft tissue, including the TMJ itself
  • CT scan: To examine in closer detail the tiny bones that interact with the TMJ

If you visit North Shore Sleep Dentistry and Dr. Shapira discovers signs of TMJ dysfunction, he will recommend solutions to manage the symptoms and restore your physical and mental health. As a longtime neuromuscular dentist, Dr. Shapira prefers treatments that harness the body’s natural healing processes and encourage holistic well-being.

To find out more about the connection between headaches and TMJ, please contact North Shore Sleep Dentistry or call (847) 533-8313 today to schedule your consultation. Dr. Shapira sees patients throughout Chicago, including Lake Forest, Highland Park, and Deerfield.