Nearly 40% of people with TMJ also experience migraines. Migraines are much more severe than your traditional headache and are usually accompanied by painful symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, aura, light and sound sensitivity, and throbbing pain.
The link between migraines and TMJ are still somewhat unknown. Some migraines are linked to overstressed or overactive jaw muscles. This type of migraine occurs because the trigeminal nerve (the nerve that triggers migraines) has branches located near the jaw. Therefore, when the muscles become too tense or overactive, it can reach the nerve and then trigger a migraine.
The trigeminal nerve is often seen as the trigger point of migraines. The nerve controls the jaw muscles and is also the receiving point of pain signals. When the jaw muscles become overstimulated, the nerve can release calcitonin gene-related proteins (CGRP) which can also trigger migraines and pain conditions. With TMJ treatment, the muscles will relax which will prevent the nerve from becoming overstimulated and prevent CGRP from releasing. This may prevent migraines and other pain conditions ultimately.