Fall is normally associated with changing leaves, carving pumpkins, cooler weather, and cozy nights. However, for others, it’s associated with an increase in frequent headaches. At Smile Columbia, we want our patients to enjoy all aspects of fall without dealing with constant headaches. There are many causes of cold weather headaches, but TMJ treatment can help reduce them.

Find out if TMJ treatment is right for you.

woman walking through the woods with a headache

Migraines Increase with Changing Season

Migraine headaches can be triggered by many factors. About half of all migraine sufferers report their headaches can be triggered by changing weather patterns. The most common trigger for headaches is changing barometric pressure, which is just the scientific name for air pressure. As weather fronts move through with warmer or colder air, the barometric pressure changes, which can cause tissues to expand or contract, triggering migraines.

The fall and spring are worse for this because of the temperature changes and therefore barometric pressure tends to fluctuate more often than in the summer or winter.

Other weather changes that can contribute to migraine triggers include:

  • High humidity
  • Bright sunlight
  • Extreme heat or cold
  • Sun glare
  • Windy or stormy weather

Weather changes might impact the balance of serotonin and other brain chemicals. Unfortunately, there’s no way to control the weather, so if one of these changes does occur, the best thing to do is be prepared. One of the best things you can do is monitor the weather and if you see one of these changes on the forecast, do your best to avoid all triggers. For example, if it’s cold and windy outside, make an effort to stay inside all day.

You can also avoid migraines from weather changes by sticking with healthy lifestyle choices. Make sure to drink lots of water, exercise (not too intensely), eat healthy foods, sleep enough, and control your stress. Doing these simple tasks can help you reduce the severity of a migraine.

Sinus Headaches Can Rise with Fall

In the winter, people are more likely to get colds, flu, and other illnesses. These can lead to swollen tissues and additional mucous that can clog your sinuses, putting them under pressure, which can lead to sinus headaches. Those sinus headaches can then trigger migraine headaches.

Another potential source of sinus headaches is allergies. According to the Allergy and Asthma Federation of America (AAFA), Columbia, SC is the 33rd worst city in the US for fall allergies.

If you’re prone to sinus headaches, there are a few things you can do to help prevent migraines. First, it’s important to determine if the cause of your sinus headaches is from allergies or not. If you suffer from fall allergies, it’s best to speak with your doctor about seasonal allergy treatment. They might recommend taking over the counter allergy medicine daily or prescribe something more long-lasting. Taking allergy medications can help prevent the sinuses from swelling and infections from forming.

As for cold and flu season, continue washing your hands, wearing a mask in public, and staying away from others who are sick. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, these simple steps can help keep us safe from not only serious viruses but cold and flu season. You can also take steps to keep your immune system strong by sleeping the recommended hours per night, eating healthy, and keeping your stress levels low.

Cold Weather Leads to Muscle Tension

In addition to migraines, cold weather can lead to more muscle tension, which can worsen tension and other headaches caused by TMJ. In cold weather, your muscles get less blood supply, which can cause them to tense up, especially when they get hit by a blast of cold air. Shivering is the body’s heating strategy, but it can result in additional muscle tension. If you’re wondering why older people move to warmer climates, this is why. Cold weather can cause a TMJ flare-up and arthritis flare-up which can result in TMJ headaches.

Although you can’t just pack up and move every winter, you can help keep migraines from cold weather at bay by staying inside for cold weather, bundling up if you have to go outside, and/or seeking TMJ treatment from your Columbia, SC dentist.

TMJ Treatment in Columbia, SC Can Reduce Headaches

If you don’t want to deal with seasonal increases in your headaches, we can help. Our neuromuscular dentist, Dr. Adam Hahn, can help put your jaw in proper balance so that you’re less susceptible to muscle tension headaches and migraines they cause. After just a few weeks of TMJ treatment, you will notice a major improvement in your symptoms. You might actually be able to enjoy fall without constant headaches and migraines!

If you’re ready to experience a pain-free fall and start your TMJ treatment in Columbia, SC, please contact Smile Columbia Dentistry today by calling (803) 781-9090.