Headaches range from annoying to so severe it is impossible to carry out the activities of your daily life. Whatever the level of pain, most headaches are due to muscle tension, often in the bite. With the appropriate dental treatment, you can reduce, or even eliminate, tension headaches.
What Dental Problems Cause Headaches?
There are many muscles in the jaw holding the head in place. You use these muscles every time you swallow to bring your upper and lower teeth together. A tired bite occurs when your jaw muscles become strained, leading to pain that spreads throughout the head. You are at particular risk of suffering from a tired bite if you have malocclusion, or bad bite, due to misaligned teeth. Your dentist will need to correct your bite to solve the problem.
Sometimes headaches are due to an imbalance of other muscles in the head. As well as jaw muscles, you have muscles in the neck, shoulders, and back all holding your head in place. Tension in any one of these muscles cause the rest to overwork, leading to yet more strain. Your dentist can determine the origin of the muscle tension and offer you an appropriate treatment.
Pain in a single tooth can move to other parts of the head in what is called referred pain. This means your doctor may be looking in the wrong place for the source of pain. With a dental checkup, your dentist will be able to locate the problem.
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) refers to problems with the joint connecting the jaw and skull. Treatment ranges from simple exercises to surgery, depending on severity.
Bruxism is the technical term for teeth grinding or clenching. Many people suffer from the condition while sleeping, obvious only by their headaches and worn-down teeth. Your dentist can create you a custom mouthguard to kill the bad habit.