Is Your Headache Caused By An Oral Health Problem?

If you suffer from regular headaches, you might be surprised to learn that your dentist could be the best person to turn to for help. Many different aches and pains are caused by an uneven bite – a treatable issue with symptoms that can dramatically affect a person’s quality of life.

How can an uneven bite cause headaches?

Tension headaches are usually caused by muscle strain that starts in the jaw and mouth. One possible reason for this is a bad bite – if the chewing surfaces of your teeth don’t meet together properly when the jaws are shut, the muscles have to work harder to chew and become strained. Since the jaws hardly ever get any rest, this strain becomes constant and causes pain. Sometimes you’ll feel discomfort in the jaw, but the pain can often transfer to other areas, including behind your eyes, in your temples, or in your forehead.

How do I know if an uneven bite is the cause of my pain? 

These symptoms could be an indication that you have bite (occlusal) problems:

  • Teeth are heavily worn, chipped, or flattened due to excessive grinding.
  • Headaches are particularly bad first thing in the morning, or you wake up with a stiff jaw.
  • You notice a clicking or grinding in your jaw joints, often accompanied by a ringing in your ear. You may also find it difficult to open your mouth wide.

The most common cause of headaches is a condition called TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder), which affects the jaw joints, muscles, and facial nerves, and can be painful if it isn’t treated. You may be able to ease the symptoms by eating soft foods, applying ice or heat to the jaw, and avoiding extreme jaw movements such as yawning widely.

How can my dentist help?

Your dentist here at Cliftonville will thoroughly examine your mouth and determine whether your pain could be caused by a misaligned bite.

Depending on your specific case, we may recommend:

  • Wearing a night guard to prevent damage caused by teeth grinding.
  • Orthodontic work to correct your bite.
  • Replacing missing teeth or broken crowns or fillings to balance the biting surfaces of your teeth.

Don’t suffer from headaches or jaw pain in silence! Call us today to book a consultation and we’ll be happy to assess your bite and discuss possible treatments.

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