If you are experiencing migraines this summer, you might be wondering what is responsible? It could be that summer activities are causing your migraines. Or it could be temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) that’re causing the problem. Here are some tips for making the distinction. 

group of friends celebrating in the water

Fun in the Sun

Bright light is a common migraine trigger. The bright summer sun can cause migraines, especially when reflecting off the white sand or the waves. Make sure you’re wearing sunglasses or a hat to protect your eyes. This is a migraine trigger that isn’t closely linked to TMJ.

Allergy Alerts

Many people find that allergies are a trigger for their migraines. Be aware of the allergens that tend to cause your attacks. The main link between allergies and migraines is congestion. Congested sinuses can put pressure on your trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve controls muscles in much of the face and carries sensations back from everything below the eyes. Trigeminal nerve pressure is a common cause of migraines. 

This is potentially linked to TMJ, since the trigeminal nerve is the main linkage between the two conditions. Stress and pressure in the jaw system can contribute to the trigeminal nerve triggering your migraines. 

Drink Smart

Dehydration is a common cause of headaches, including migraines, in the summer. Make sure you’re getting enough fluids to replace what you lose during outdoor activities. Remember, just spending time outside means that you need additional fluids, even if you’re not being active. 

Don’t forget that some drinks are not as hydrating as others. If your drinks contain caffeine, such as colas or iced tea, they don’t hydrate as well as drinks without caffeine. And remember that too much caffeine can trigger migraines. Don’t forget that alcohol can dehydrate you, too, even if it’s just beer. 

Eager Exercise

Exercise in the summer is often different from what you do in the winter. Many people are more active because they’re having fun. And because they’re having fun, they are more likely to push themselves to the limit. And pushing yourself to the limit can trigger migraines. 

Exercise-related migraines might be linked to TMJ. Sometimes people clench their jaw for additional stability and strength. If your migraines are triggered by exercise, you should consider the possibility that TMJ is a factor. 

Eat Smart

There are many barbecue foods that can tempt you to open your mouth wide: corn on the cob, beef ribs, turkey drumsticks, and burgers laden with all the fixings on a thick bun. These can all make you stretch your mouth wider than usual. And some of these foods might make you do more chewing than you’re used to.

Unfortunately, this can lead to jaw pain and, in some cases, migraines. If this type of activity is triggering your migraines, consider that TMJ might be a factor. Note: the connection between migraines and MSG is overstated. While you can’t rule it out as a cause right away, it should be your first suspect. 

Stress Control

Unfortunately, this has been a more stressful summer than most for many people. Stress can often trigger migraines. 

TMJ is often the secret cause of stress-related migraines. Many people carry stress in their jaw: clenching and grinding their teeth. When you do this, you can exacerbate TMJ, triggering migraines. 

Do You Suspect TMJ in SoBe?

If you think that TMJ might be partly or fully to blame for your migraines, we may be able to help. Please call (305) 535-2225 today for an appointment with a TMJ dentist at SoBe Dentist in Miami Beach.