How can a dentist help with headaches?

By November 18, 2020 November 22nd, 2020 Alternative Therapies, Migraines, Pain Management
woman with headache

Ear infection, sleep loss, poor posture, insufficient food intake, and stress are just five out of dozens of causes of headaches. Did you know that tension headaches are the most common in adults? These are described as a dull pain and a feeling of pressure on the sides, back, and forehead. You may also experience scalp tenderness and pain in the neck and shoulders.

Headaches should never disrupt your life. Though it is normal to have one occasionally, weekly headaches are not normal, and those who experience headaches often should visit their general practitioner or dentist as soon as possible.

To learn more about how a dentist can help relieve your headache pain, continue reading.

Tension Headache Causes

We don’t always understand what leads to a tension headache. However, your dentist will look for two main causes:

  • A bad bite: When the top and bottom teeth don’t match up properly, the jaw joints and muscles work harder to chew food. The strain on the muscles will sometimes refer to other parts of the head through the trigeminal nerve.
  • Bruxism: Also known as teeth grinding, bruxism places an immense amount of pressure on the teeth and jaw muscles. Patients who suffer from bruxism often wake up with a dull headache, tooth pain, and experience clicking or popping in the jaw.

Even these conditions often have a root cause. For example, bruxism is often linked to TMJ disorder and obstructive sleep apnea. A dentist who specializes in these conditions can provide necessary treatment to patients struggles with symptoms of these disorders.

Other conditions that lead to tension headaches include:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Straining your eyes
  • Dehydration
  • A sinus infection

If you’re experiencing frequent headaches, it is so important to visit multiple specialists to find the root cause.

Dental Treatments for Headaches

When headaches are caused by dental misalignment, bruxism, or other oral health disorders, your dentist may recommend the following treatments:

  • Orthodontics: Braces may be necessary for patients who have a bad bite. Traditional metal braces, clear braces, and Invisalign® clear aligners help patients achieve a perfectly aligned smile so that their orofacial muscles aren’t being overworked.
  • Oral appliance: A custom oral appliance provides cushion to the teeth, protecting them from damage, and reduces the strain placed on the jaw muscles by supporting correct alignment.
  • Trigger point injections: TPI is one of the best treatments for chronic headaches and migraines. The treatment consists of administering local anesthesia, saline, or corticosteroids into specific muscles to relieve pain.
  • Physical therapy: A TMJ disorder specialist helps patients by teaching muscles and joint movements that improve the position of the jaw joints.
  • Medication: A dentist may recommend medication in conjunction with physical therapy or other treatment methods.

A dental professional may also recommend self-care tips to reduce headaches and other TMJD symptoms. These include:

  • Eating soft foods
  • Using heat and ice
  • Avoid chewing gum
  • Quit nail biting
  • Chew evenly on both sides of the mouth

Sacramento Dentist Offers Headache Relief

Dr. Timothy Mickiewicz is known for his ability to help patients find pain relief. He has a deep-seated passion for it that has led to successful and effective treatments for patients dealing with all types of pain, including headaches.

Don’t wait any longer to experience the pain relief you deserve. Contact our friendly team today at (916) 469-9178 to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Mick.

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