TMJ Headache Treatment Michigan Doctor John Halmaghi   Case Study of successful treatment of 48 year history of severe migraine pain. Proper diagnosis leads to successful treatment plan incorporating restoring missing teeth and altering jaw bone relationships to create normal occlusion
Migraine Pain TMJ Dysfunction Pain Headache Diagnosis Headache Pain Cures

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Forty Eight (48) Year Migraine Headache History

Before After Photo Neuromuscular Dentistry Treatment
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This 63 year old patient came to my office for regular dental care. Her main complaint was the fact that she had some old dental work that was breaking down and she had some missing teeth that required replacement.

During our comprehensive dental examination we learned that she was suffering with migraine headaches since she was 15 years old. The frequency of her migraines were at least twice per month, with episodes of debilitation lasting 2-3 days. She was consuming approximately 2 bottles of narcotics per month in a useless effort to combat her head pain. She had seen countless physicians, neurologists, chiropractors, and physical therapists. No treatments were successful.

We introduced her to our headache treatment program, and although skeptical at first, she was excited to try anything that could help. Her full face photos above reflect her condition before treatment.

Her diagnostic x-rays revealed serious jaw joint compression, “canted” skull bones, calcified styloid process, and unbalanced bony relationships. The patient did not exhibit any noises or pain in the TMJ area. Some patients with TMJ problems elicit popping or clicking of the jaw joint, and some related pain. Chronic head pain patients (especially migraine sufferers) usually don’t exhibit pain or noises in the jaw joint area, although the cause of these pain issues is always related to a damaged joint. Only proper x-rays can show this damage, in these cases.

Her muscles were functioning properly and she had no apparent pain in the jaw or neck area. The only area that was sensitive and painful was the tissues and muscles in the back of the lower jaw. This is often seen in patients who suffer from a condition known as Eagle’s Syndrome, a deposition of calcium on the styloid process caused by overactive jaw muscles.

The styloid process is a small bony protuberance that ties the styloid muscle to the skull bone. As the styloid muscle overworks, especially in patients with poor jaw to jaw relationships, it can cause this bone to elongate through extra calcium deposits, making it a “sitting knife”. It’s as though the patient has a knife in their neck, causing stabbing pain that is uncontrollable.

Many migraine sufferers have this process. Only proper x-rays can detect this condition. This is what we see in many of our migraine patients. It is a “silent” problem, related to improper jaw function, that masks itself deep into the skull and neck area with no apparent signs of dysfunction.

The skull bone relationship in this patient was also abnormal, and most likely caused by a difficult birthing process. The delivery process is very traumatic to some babies, often causing skull deformities. If these abnormalities are not corrected early in life, they can lead to head pain problems later.

Missing Teeth and TMJ Headaches

Missing teeth cause TMJ Headache Pain The adjacent pre-treatment photographs show some of the problems this patient had to start with. Years of dental neglect caused her to lose tooth support, subsequently affecting her jaw joints. The missing teeth also caused further jaw joint compression, since her left side had no support.

Many patients who lack back teeth end up with headaches and other facial pain issues. The muscles continue to contract without tooth support, which places hundreds of pounds of pressure on the joints eventually fatiguing and injuring them.

The brain is so intimate to the jaw joint (being separated by only 1/16 of an inch of bone in some patients) that it senses this problem in many different ways. In some patients, we see migraines, in other patients we see neck or ear pain. The symptoms vary, but the body will manifest the dysfunction in one way or another.

Pre TMJ Cure Photos Before and After The treatment for this patient began with “composite mock-ups.” Bonding was placed on the appropriate teeth in order to help decompress the joints and align the jaw to jaw relationship. It gives us an indication of how the patient responds to early treatment before we began the major work.

After two months, the patient showed only 2 episodes of headaches, which were controlled by Advil. She no longer required narcotics and the headaches were minor, lasting only 1 day. She was still skeptical about her future prognosis.

We nonetheless assured her that we would achieve at least a 90% reduction in her migraines. This was unbelievable to her, considering the many years of suffering she had endured.

Relief begins during first month of TMJ Treatment

Open mouth wide no TMJ Pain Photo The photo at the left shows how well the patient was able to open her mouth, without feeling any jaw joint strain, after only one month of treatment.

The next phase of treatment consisted of placing implants in her lower jaw to allow us to gain support and proper alignment.

After six months, we finished restoring the implants and replaced all of her old dental work. A new jaw to jaw relationship was achieved, and final x-rays confirmed that her jaw joints were healing.

48 Year TMJ Headache Misery Successfully Resolved

After photo Successful TMJ Cure This final photo clearly shows the end result after about a year of treatment. Her life has changed considerably since her treatment.

This patient’s energy level, attitude, and personality have improved for the best. Years later, she is no longer skeptical.

TMJ Treatment Outcome

In the patient's words:"I am a different human being.
I have an extra 6 days a month that I can do other things besides lay in bed with a migraine! Not to mention that I can eat properly now and my new
teeth look like a move star’s! I just can’t believe that
a dentist could make such a huge difference in my life."

After photo Successful TMJ Cure "I am a different human being. I have an extra 6 days a month that I can do other things besides lay in bed with a migraine! Not to mention that I can eat properly now and my new teeth look like a move star’s! I just can’t believe that a dentist could make such a huge difference in my life."

The adjacent photo was taken 3 years post operatively. Migraine headache pain no longer exists for the patient.

Have questions about certain physical relationships or properties operating within your jaw structures that could be the cause of craniofacial or tmj-tmd pain?.

Contact Dr. Halmaghi's staff at to obtain any additional information you may need for utilizing our evaluation service.
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Michigan TMJ/Headache Institute

Practice Limited to Headache, Migraine, TMJ, Facial Pain, and Sleep Disorder
Dr. John Halmaghi
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