Headaches and Teeth
If you suffer from migraines, one thing is certain: You can make them go away in certain cases!
If natural tooth position is fighting your jaw hinge position, this can trigger a migraine.
You have two temporomandibular joints (TMJs) that connect the sides of your jaw to your skull; they work in harmony to one another. They move in suspension, held by muscles and ligaments. If they are not rotating in harmony with these softer tissues, headaches and muscle fatigue results, travelling down your neck and around your eyes causing acute pain at times.
Many things can cause jaw pain. One possibility is that you clench your jaw or grind your teeth. You might clench your jaw throughout the day when you feel stressed, or you may grind your teeth together at night while you are sleep. You may not be aware that you do either of these things. This is your body’s mechanism to subconsciously compensate and gain relief by trying to even your teeth out to relax your jaw joints. Many people will find this will stop when certain teeth fall out.
New dental treatments can change the joint harmony and trigger these symptoms below:
- Your teeth are flat, broken, chipped, or loose
- Your teeth feel more sensitive
- You have pain or soreness in your jaw or face
- Your jaw feels tired or tight
- Pain behind your ears and down your neck
- You have an earache, but there is no problem with your ears
Missing a tooth or your teeth can create a problem with your bite; this may mean that the muscles in your jaw have to work harder to bring your upper and lower teeth together. Over time, that can become painful.
If this continues, it can lead to TMJ pain and long-term damage. Lots of chewing strains your jaw. It is like lifting a weight, repeatedly.
Early relief strategies to be aware of:
- Do not chew on your fingernails, lips, cheeks, or other objects like pens
- Use a hands-free device when you talk on the phone to keep pressure off your head and jaw
- Do not chew gum
- Stay away from sticky or crunchy foods that make your jaw work harder
- Cut food like hamburgers or apples into smaller pieces so you do not have to take big bites
- Try to relax your jaw and keep your upper and lower teeth apart during the day
- Over the counter devices can make your problem worse. If they don’t fit well, they can make you clench your teeth even more
We can make custom-made dental devices. Using these devices, made in a hard material, they work like teeth. By this we mean, a hard tapping noise from the appliance, telling your brain to relax your jaw as your teeth have tapped. Known as Proprioceptivity, your body’s natural awareness mechanism from your brain. This regulates pressure within its own integrity to trigger muscle action and forces applied.
Your dentist may suggest dental treatments to correct your bite. This might include crowns, braces, or oral surgery or most often, a choice of many removable appliances to relieve the symptoms.
Some people grind or clench their teeth because of stress. If you think this may be the case for you, some things, like exercise, therapy, or meditation, can help you to manage it.
Other lifestyle changes can make a difference too.