It seems a natural assumption that headaches come from your head…right? In fact, while headache pain may seat itself in your head, the causes can be located in places other than the upper portion of your head. For example, problems in the jaw joints (known as TMJ) can show up as headaches (as well as pain in the neck, back and shoulder area.) Headache specialists in Houston, TX know that headaches can begin at many points, including with the teeth and oral structures in your mouth.
How Teeth Can Cause Headaches
In the ideal situation, upper and lower teeth meet comfortably, both when you are chewing, and when your upper and lower jaws are in a resting state. Even small instances of malocclusion can produce stresses and strains in the facial area, that your body identifies as a “headache.” With careful diagnosis, orthodontic treatments can be devised, that bring the jaws and teeth into alignment, allowing the muscles to rest comfortably and putting an end to headaches.
Headaches and Bruxism
Forceful teeth-grinding, especially at night, is an unconscious habit that can result in morning headaches or head pain throughout the day. If you dentist notices signs of wear that indicate bruxism, then a custom-designed mouthguard can provide relief. This soft mouthpiece will cradle and protect the teeth, while at the same time it can direct the teeth and jaws into positions more conducive to restful, grinding-free sleep. Not only will headaches be lessened or stop, but sleep partners will notice a significant reduction in nighttime noise.
When Teeth Are Absent
Missing teeth are definitely a cosmetic issue when they show in a smile, but even teeth missing from the back of the mouth can be a problem. As the jaws work to compensate, whether they are chewing food or at rest, the muscles and joints can become stressed or fatigued, resulting in headaches.
Not Every Headache Comes from Your Head
Let us help you have headache free days and nights, with a proper diagnosis for your headache pain. Schedule your visit with Healthy Smiles Family Dentistry today by calling (281) 974-4494. We serve patients from Houston, Memorial City, Bunker Hill, West Beltway, City Center, Hedwig Village, and all surrounding communities.