Most people do not associate their headaches with being caused by dental issues, but often these things are related. Even minor cavities can cause a headache. Tension headaches are often the result of any added muscle strain that builds up in the mouth and jaw, which directly coincides with dental issues.
Additionally, patients who grind their teeth at night can be subjected to headaches, especially in the morning, along with a sore jaw. The culprit behind these headaches can often be an uneven bite pattern or resting position of your jaw. Dr. Huckin is available to evaluate your teeth and jaw structure and determine if there are dental issues causing your headaches.
Morning Headaches Treatment
Headaches that stem from dental issues usually start with a dull pain that you feel on one or both sides of the head. This is because when your bite pattern is off, your jaw takes on an unusual amount of stress. If your teeth aren’t properly meeting when you chew your food, this is extra work that is being put on your mouth muscles to compensate for the misalignment. This causes strain that eventually develops into pain that can cause a headache. To treat these headaches, Dr. Huckin may recommend:
- TMJ Treatment– “TMJ” is the common term for an imbalance in the function of the temporomandibular joint. This causes a range of symptoms to appear, most frequently jaw pain. Dr. Huckin will evaluate you for TMJ and suggest treatment options if needed.
- Night Guards– These can be especially helpful to our patients who suffer from unconsciously grinding their teeth. Nightguards adjust your jaw’s resting position and prevent tooth damage.
- Dental Implants or Dental Bridges– If you are missing one or more of your teeth, this could be the reason your bite pattern is thrown off. When this is the case, a dental implant or bridge could be the solution to restoring your original bite and relieving your headaches.
What Causes Dental Headaches?
Usually, dental headaches are due to issues with teeth grinding or TMJ disorders. The tension radiates throughout your jaw and face, as well as your head and neck. Strain and stress on the jaw joint cause these problems and they’re felt throughout your body. Usually, the headaches are in the morning because it’s most common for us to grind our teeth subconsciously while we’re sleeping.
A misaligned bite can also cause headaches as well as TMJ disorders. Your jaw joint becomes irritated and inflamed, and the bite coming together improperly can actually cause tension headaches. If this is the case, Dr. Huckin will explore methods to make sure your bite is coming together the way it should. This may include replacing missing teeth, treating crooked teeth, or using a guard or splint to resituate your jaw.
Headache Therapy FAQs
Can dental work trigger migraines?
The trigeminal nerve is our most delicate nerve strand, and since it runs through the face and jaw, it is especially susceptible to damage from excessive pressure, vibration, scraping, poking, or drilling. A dental cleaning can trigger a headache in some people, whereas for others it has no effect at all.
Can you get nerve damage from dental work?
Due to the proximity of the trigeminal nerve to the sites where teeth are taken, this nerve is occasionally compromised. Any time an adult tooth, including a wisdom tooth, is extracted, the risk of nerve injury is present. This may cause headaches, migraines, and pain.
Can the dentist help with headaches?
Migraines are often brought on by tension in the jaw, temple, and neck regions or by issues with the jaw joint (TMJ). Your dentist may be able to alleviate your migraine pain and cut down on your migraine episodes if your discomfort is located near this joint.
If you’ve been struggling with persistent headaches, it may be time to determine if some dental issues are the underlying cause. Dr. Huckin can evaluate the current condition of your smile to see if the issue lies in the current state of your dental health. If so, our office is happy to help you through your treatment process and restore your peace of mind.