Migraines and your dental health | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Migraines and your dental health

John Bocchi
John Bocchi

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 my Sierra Smiles Tahoe dental office? 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 both migraine or headache pain.

Symptoms of a Headache

Head pain is usually throughout either the entire head or forehead.

Pain isn’t focused on one side.

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.

Dental-Driven Migraines

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 throw off balance and lead to pain, nausea, and other debilitating symptoms.

If you’ve been experiencing migraines or headaches and haven’t found relief, consider giving my Tahoe dental office a call. 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 your next migraine to hit!

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