Chronic headaches can be disruptive and painful, reducing the quality of life for those who suffer. Although headaches can be a sign of many medical conditions, a significant number of patients find that the source of their headaches is in their mouth. If you have seen your primary doctor and still find it difficult to control daily headaches with over-the-counter pain relievers, you may want to check in with your dentist.
- Bad Bite
- What is a likely link between your teeth and your headache? Your bite. In many cases, headaches are caused by a malocclusion or “bad bite,” which simply means that the jaw joint is not properly aligned. By correcting the problem with your bite, many headaches can be prevented. In some cases, a malocclusion may be treated effectively using orthodontic appliances, while in others, tooth removal or even surgery is required.
- In other cases, a patient may have a perfectly aligned bite yet they have a grinding or clenching habit. Bruxism consists of grinding your teeth or clenching them on a daily basis, most likely during sleep. Not only can this habit damage your teeth over time, but it often produces a bad headache the next morning. In these cases, custom mouthguards or mouth splints can be worn at night to prevent you from grinding your teeth.
- People with TMJ also experience chronic headaches or migraines. Temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the small, triangular joints in front of your ears that allow for comfortable chewing and speaking. These joints are highly sensitive and can become misaligned when you are stressed or when you have changed eating habits. Other causes of TMJ disorder include misaligned teeth, genetics, and autoimmune disease. Over 10 million Americans suffer from chronic headaches and facial pain, both symptoms of TMJ disorder. Park South Dentistry offers top quality custom mouthguards to hold your jaw in place and help you gain headache relief.
The next time you wake up with another migraine or tension headache, consider calling your dentist instead of reaching for the aspirin. Finding the source of your headache can bring you the long-term relief and improved quality of life you need. If it is your bite that is triggering your headache, you’ll be glad you found an effective, drug-free solution at your dental office.