Many people don’t make the connection between headaches and dental problems. But the jaw, teeth, and joints are all connected. When you clench your teeth, your neck muscles inadvertently contract. Most who suffer from headaches associated with dental problems grind or clench their teeth at night, which causes headaches to occur in the morning.
If you are experiencing pain centered in the nerves and muscles running through the face and neck, your frequent headaches are being caused by dental problems.
TMJ related headaches are typically accompanied by other symptoms which may include:
- Teeth grinding or clenching (you may notice your teeth are worn or chipped)
- Sore jaw or jaw pain
- Neck or shoulder pain
- Limited mobility in the jaw, locking jaw
- Popping noise in the jaw joint
- Pressure in the ear or earaches
Treatment for TMJ Headaches
An underlying cause of constant headaches is often a temporomandibular disorder, commonly referred to as TMJ. The result of dysfunction in the bite and muscle tension in the jaw, Dr. Prendregast offers diagnosis and a range of treatments for TMJ. Some patients experience relief by simply changing their everyday habits, reducing the stress in their life, or avoiding certain foods that aggravate the jaw joints. Others may need restorative dental care to address malocclusion, bite problems and damage caused by teeth grinding, a common symptom og TMJ.
Splint or Night Guards for TMJ Headaches
Dental splints, mouth guards and night guards are custom made devices used to align the jaw and allow teeth to make proper contact without grinding or stress. A night guard reduces pressure which can cause headaches and can help prevent damage to the teeth and gums.
Bite Correction Procedure
In addition to a splint or night guard, some patients benefit from bite correction procedures. If your teeth are crooked or misaligned, the teeth could be coming into contact unevenly and causing pain. Dr. Prendergast may recommend Invisalign or other procedures for straightening teeth or adjusting the biting surfaces.
Schedule a Consultation
It is often difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of headaches. If you are experiencing frequent headaches and have had no relief from doctors or believe your pain is dental related, call Infinity Dental of Fox Lake or click here to schedule a consultation.