Do you suffer from frequent headaches? If yes, you may want to know what is causing your pain. You definitely want some relief. Rather than searching deep within the internet for other cures, simply ask your dentist. You may be surprised to find that your headaches are related to your teeth or jaw. If that is the case, your dentist will be able to provide you with the relief you need.
Dental Causes of Headaches
If your headaches result from your teeth, there may be physical signs on your teeth. For example, grinding your teeth (also known as bruxism) can cause headaches. Clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth puts a lot of stress on your jaw and teeth. Your mouth is not made to handle the excess pressure from bruxism.
Over time, the muscles in your jaw become tight and full of tension. This tension can spread across your face and down into your neck and shoulders. Without any relief, the stress in your muscles will give you headaches. You can even develop earaches from grinding your teeth.
Without treatment or intervention, bruxism can wear down the shape of your teeth. Grinding your teeth can also chip or break your teeth. Fractures or breaks can cause noticeable pain and discomfort in your jaw. Consequently, many aches and pains can radiate into other parts of your body—including your head. In addition, cracks in the enamel of your teeth can increase your risk of tooth decay, which can cause pain.
If you suffer from bruxism, you are likely to also develop a disorder in your jaw joints. Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) occurs when there is a deformity in the jaw joint. Your jaw joint is responsible for the hinging motion that allows you to eat and speak. TMD can stiffen the jaw joint or make it difficult to open and close your mouth. Additionally, a common symptom of TMD is frequent headaches.
It is not uncommon for bite problems to cause headaches. Your “bite” is how your top teeth meet your bottom teeth. If your bite doesn’t sit properly, it can cause your mouth to move in ways that cause you pain. Also, depending on your bite problem, you may be putting more stress on one part of your jaw over the other. Over time, this can make your jaw sore and overworked. Naturally, this can give you headaches.
There are several ways that your dentist can help your headaches.
For example, a standard treatment option for grinding your teeth and TMD is to use a mouthguard. A mouthguard is a soft plastic device that cushions your teeth. Many mouthguards are custom fitted to your mouth to ensure a perfect fit. In order to help your teeth, the mouthguard equalizes the stress across your entire mouth and keeps your teeth from grinding.
If a bite problem is causing your headaches, you may consider orthodontic work to fix the issue. Your dentist may be able to offer you a variety of options—invisible braces, crowns, or dental bonding. Above all, each of these options will fix your bite and lessen your headaches.