If you are experiencing an extremely painful headache, it might be a migraine. However, while migraines might be annoying and difficult to deal with, they don’t typically cause any serious complications. With a new study, migraines were determined to be an early sign of arthritis in the jaw.

The Connection

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is based in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which connects the jaw to the skull on either side of the face. With about one-third of the adult population suffering from TMD to some degree, it can trigger a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Joint pain
  • Reduced jaw movement
  • Clicking or popping of the joint
  • Muscle pain and fatigue

With the development of TMD, many people can experience increased severity and frequency of migraines. In this study, it showed that patients with chronic migraines occurring on more than 15 days out of the month, are three times more likely to report more severe symptoms.

For about 75 percent of those that suffer from frequent migraines, treatment for TMD provides relief, but other people might also experience more serious complications, such as teeth clenching or grinding, injury, infection or connective tissue disease.

And in rare cases, it can lead to degenerative joint disease or arthritis. On the opposite side of the spectrum, having arthritis initially, it can raise your risk of developing TMD.

It is important to contact Dr. Mayoor Patel at Craniofacial Pain & Dental Sleep Center of Georgia to learn more about your options for treatment of TMD. And if you have arthritis, it is even more important to seek care as soon as possible to prevent further complications.