In our dental office, we work with a lot of people that suffer from headaches and neck pain. This is a common condition that millions of people struggle with, not knowing what is causing it. Anyone can get a tension headache and most people think of their neck, shoulders or back as the reason. Very often there is more to the story. As a dentist, we know that headaches can come from what is happening with your mouth and jaw.
Your bite matters…
The way that your upper and lower teeth come together makes a difference in your appearance and your comfort levels. If you have an overbite, underbite or crossbite, it can put an undue strain your joints and it can give you a headache or face pain that will not go away throughout the day. Fortunately, this is a problem that is easy to treat with orthodontics. Whether you wear braces, aligners or have oral surgery, your bite can be aligned so that your discomfort will go away.
Another cause of headaches and neck pain is TMJ. Your temporomandibular joint connects your jaw to your head. If too much strain or pressure is placed on it, you can end up with a severe headache. A lot of people suffer from this condition without ever realizing it. However, if you wake up with jaw or face pain, overall soreness or an inability to open your mouth all of the way, you could have TMJ. This condition is often exasperated by the grinding or clenching of teeth at night. During times of high-stress people are more prone to this problem and will often wake up unable to open their mouth all of the way. Even though this condition can be uncomfortable and alarming it is actually fairly easy to treat. In our dental office, we can take an impression of your teeth and have a custom night guard created in the dental lab. When this guard is worn at night, it will prevent your upper and lower teeth from touching directly. This way, they will be unable to grind or clench while you are sleeping. This simple step will make it possible for your jaw to relax so that when you wake up, you will not experience any discomfort.
If you have ongoing headaches and neck pain, it is important that you do more than take ibuprofen. While it can ease your discomfort, we want to prevent it from happening in the first place. By examining your teeth and gums, we can look for signs of wear and determine if it looks like you are grinding your teeth at night. If you are, or if your bite is out of alignment, we can suggest treatment options so that your oral health will be improved and your headaches will dissipate as a result. We provide non-invasive solutions that will help you to feel better right away. To learn more, call and schedule a consultation with our dental office.
Call our Leawood, KS, dental office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.