Headaches & Migraines Specialist

Joseph Yousefian, D.M.D., M.S. -  - Orthodontist

Yousefian Orthodontics for Children, Teens and Adults

Joseph Yousefian, D.M.D., M.S.

Orthodontist located in Bellevue, WA

Chronic headaches or migraines can be discouraging and interfere with the joy of everyday life. Headaches can originate from several places, but did you know that your dental issues may be the cause? Joseph Z. Yousefian, DMD, MS, PS, and his team of experts at Yousefian Orthodontics for Children, Teens, and Adults in Bellevue, Washington, help you determine whether your headaches or migraines stem from a dental condition. Call the office to schedule a consultation or book online today.

Headaches & Migraines Q & A

What are headaches?

A headache occurs when there is pain in any region of the head. They may develop on one or both sides of the head, be specific to one location, or spread out across the head. Headaches may present themselves as a vise-like pressure, a sharp piercing pain, or as a throbbing or dull ache. They can occur suddenly or gradually over time and may last from a few minutes to several days.

Your symptoms will help your doctor establish a cause and appropriate treatment to alleviate your pain. There are typically two classifications of headache:

Primary headaches

Primary headaches usually occur as a result of problems with the pain-sensitive areas of your head. Primary headaches are not often a symptom of a disease or underlying disease issues. Examples of primary headaches are:

  • Cluster headaches
  • Migraine headaches
  • Tension headaches
  • Exercise headaches

Lifestyle behaviors including alcohol, certain foods, hunger, poor posture, lack of sleep, and stress can be a trigger for primary headaches.

Secondary headaches

Secondary headaches are often a symptom of a disease or condition that stimulates sensitive nerves in your head. There are several possible causes of secondary headaches. These may include:

  • Sinus issues
  • Ear infection
  • Dehydration
  • Medications to treat other problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Dental problems

How can dental problems trigger headaches?

Headaches can occur when muscles in your jaw and mouth become strained. Misalignment of your teeth and jaw may cause tightness and chronic pain that worsens under stress.

There are a variety of oral health issues that can cause headaches including tooth infections or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).

Is TMD causing my headaches?

Temporomandibular joint disorder occurs when there are problems with the hinging joint of the jaw. The leading causes of TMD headaches are:


Malocclusion happens when your teeth don’t fit together well, leading to a misalignment in your bite. This misalignment puts a strain on your jaw causing fatigue to its surrounding muscles. When the muscles get tired of trying to hold the jaw in place, a headache may develop.  


Bruxism, grinding or clenching of the jaw is the prominent reason for TMD headaches. Like overworking a muscle, this repeated action and tension wears out the joint and causes discomfort. This pain then travels from the jaw up to the temples sometimes creating migraine-like headaches.

What are my treatment options?

There are a variety of treatments for TMD headaches. Possible remedies include:

  • Anti-inflammatories or over-the-counter pain medications
  • Muscle relaxants to relax your jaw muscles
  • Botox injections
  • Relaxation therapy
  • Using bite guards as you sleep

Headaches caused by oral health problems may not resolve themselves on their own. To explore how to ease your pain and discomfort, turn to TMJ specialist Dr. Yousefian at Yousefian Orthodontics for Children, Teens, and Adults. Call to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.