Posted by Dr. William Yoo
There are many potential causes of headaches, but a common one many people overlook is your mouth! Frequent headaches can be really painful and disruptive to your life. If you’re unsure of what is causing your headaches, you may want to visit your dentist.
Dental headaches are usually the result of tension building up in the muscles around your face and jaw. This is a symptom of a “bad bite”, or poorly aligned teeth, which causes your jaw to overcompensate. Over time, tension builds and can lead to a dental headache. Your teeth may have grown-in poorly aligned and never been corrected, or they could have shifted over time. If you still have your wisdom teeth, it’s worth checking if they need to be removed too.
If you have a bad bite, correcting it won’t happen overnight, but by having teeth reshaped or wearing an orthodontic device, you can correct your bite over time and minimize the tension and pain.
Another very common cause of headaches related to oral health is Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMJ. TMJ is caused by a structural flaw in the jaw, possibly due to an injury. Symptoms of TMJ include:
If there is pain or limited movement due to TMJ, it’s very important you speak to your dentist. TMJ can vary from causing painless clicking or popping, to extremely severe head, neck, and facial pain.
Tooth grinding, or Bruxism is another common cause of headaches. Often we grind our teeth in our sleep, so we may not even be aware we do it! Tooth grinding wears down our teeth and tires our facial muscles out, which can lead to soreness and headaches. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to treat Bruxism once diagnosed. Your dentist can make a custom mouthguard for you to protect your teeth and jaw.
Finally, headaches can be caused by tooth decay, cavities, and dental abscesses, all of which should be treated as soon as possible. If you are suffering from headaches and suspect your mouth may have something to do with it, visit your dentist as soon as possible. They will be able to identify the cause of tension and pain, and suggest a treatment.
There’s no need to suffer! Visit your dentist today and say goodbye to headaches.