Did you know that in many cases, frequent or even constant headache pain can be treated more effectively by your dentist, instead of by your GP? Headaches are strange – their cause is often elusive, and they can range from mildly irritating to unrelentingly painful.
Since frequent headaches can interfere with your quality of life, if you experience pain that remains after treatment from a physician, you might wish to see your dentist. After all, you may be suffering from what is called a “dental headache.”
Most dental headaches are classified as “tension” headaches, and are the result of muscular tension that builds up in the region of the face and jaw. Frequently, this tension is a symptom of a bad bite.
All sorts of things can cause a bad bite, including previous dentistry, orthodontics or incoming wisdom teeth. Having a bad bite essentially means the chewing surfaces of the teeth do not meet along a smooth curve when the jaw is shut. This causes the muscles in the jaw to continually overcompensate for the imbalance, resulting in pain and soreness that radiates throughout the head.
Two issues we see in the dental world that can result in frequent and/or constant headaches are Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD) and teeth grinding (Bruxism). TMJD occurs as a result of problems with the mechanism of the jaw and its surrounding muscles, and 99% of the time is the result of an injury to the joint.
If you experience frequent “popping” or “clicking” of your jaw, particularly if you’ve ever experienced trauma in this area of your head, you’ll want to visit your dentist for a checkup.
Bruxism – a habit even babies can develop – can be another cause of frequent headaches. Grinding your teeth for hours and hours puts the muscles of your face through a tremendous workout without rest. If you find that you often wake with a headache that goes away shortly after rising, you may be, in fact, grinding your teeth.
It’s also worth mentioning that, aside from headache causes described above, headache pain can also be caused by more familiar dentistry issues like cavities, a tooth infection or an abscess.
All the more reason to call our office today to schedule a consultation to determine if that headache you’re always suffering from is actually coming from your mouth!