Do you suffer from frequent headaches that have remained undiagnosed? It’s possible that the underlying cause may be a dental condition, such as chronic bruxism (teeth grinding), a misaligned bite (malocclusion), or perhaps a disorder involving the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
For comprehensive chronic headache treatment, Dr. Mojgan Mazhari can provide a thorough diagnosis to address your symptoms and resolve the underlying dental health issues related to them.
Understanding Chronic Headaches Caused by Dental Issues
Several dental conditions can cause or contribute to headaches. Here are the five most common.
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder
TMJ disorder affects the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull. When this joint is misaligned or experiences excessive pressure, it can lead to jaw pain, facial pain, and headaches, commonly referred to as tension headaches or TMJ headaches.
Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)
Bruxism is characterized by the habitual grinding or clenching of teeth, often during sleep. The excessive forces exerted on the jaw joints and muscles can lead to headaches, particularly in the temple area.
A dental abscess is a pus-filled pocket caused by a bacterial infection in a tooth's root or gums. The infection creates pressure and inflammation in the surrounding tissues, leading to localized or referred pain, which may manifest as headaches.
Malocclusion (Misaligned Bite)
When your teeth don’t align correctly when you bite down, it causes imbalances in the muscles and joints of your jaw. This misalignment may lead to muscle tension and strain, potentially resulting in headaches.
Tooth grinding, or occlusal trauma, occurs when teeth have irregular contact during biting and chewing. This results in excessive wear on certain teeth and causes headaches due to muscle tension and discomfort.
Dental-Related Chronic Headache Treatment
If your chronic headache diagnosis reveals a dental-related issue, treatment may include:
- Mouth guard and splint therapy. A custom appliance similar to a sports mouth guard may effectively reposition the jaw and relieve tension and teeth grinding.
- Orthodontic treatment. Dr. Mazhari may recommend using invisible braces, such as Invisalign, to realign crooked or misaligned teeth.
- TENS therapy. This application uses low-intensity electrical impulses to reduce muscular tension.
Additionally, patients previously reliant on pain medication to alleviate recurring headaches and migraines can resolve their symptoms with treatment addressing the neuromuscular imbalance centered in the temporomandibular joint.