Many people suffer from chronic headaches. If you are plagued by migraines, you have probably visited your doctor repeatedly. No luck? Try telling your dentist. Your mouth may be to blame for your head pain.
If you tell your dentist about your persistent headaches, they may diagnose you with bruxism. “Bruxism” sounds scary but it is just the technical term for grinding your teeth in your sleep. Grinding your teeth is very common, especially if you are experiencing high levels of stress. Despite how common it can be, bruxism shouldn’t be ignored. Left untreated it can damage your teeth and alignment. So what does this have to do with headaches?
Bruxism and Headaches
Grinding your teeth puts a strain on the large muscles of your jaw, causing them to tense up. If you ignore the problem, these muscles can wind tighter and tighter, exacerbating your problems. High levels of a jaw muscle strain can eventually push your jaw out of alignment and become temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD. TMD is a kind of catch-all term for disorders of the jaw joints and can manifest in chronic headaches, earaches, jaw or neck pain, and even muscle spasms.
Treating Your Bruxism
Poor alignment, known as malocclusion, is at the root of many jaws and head pain problems. A healthy mouth needs to stay in balance, and an unbalanced bite creates tension and pain as well as excessive tooth wear. Every bite is different, and there is no one kind of TMD, so Drs. James Wooddell and Joseph Passaro provide comprehensive, full-service bite analysis and treatment for TMD and bruxism. Once we understand the exact nature of your bite issues, we will work with you to develop a treatment plan that may even provide long-term or permanent relief.
For many patients, the best course of treatment is a night mouthguard. This is a simple but effective solution that prevents the teeth from grinding against each other. This both protects the teeth from damage, and relieves tension, allowing the jaw to rest. Many patients enjoy immediate relief of their headaches and migraines by using their well-made night guard.
Schedule a Consultation
Are you tired of failing to treat your debilitating head pain? Try asking your dentist during your next visit. Drs. Wooddell and Passaro in Davidsonville, MD is a highly experienced and qualified dentists who are well-equipped to diagnose and treat your bruxism or TMD. To schedule a consultation, contact our office on our website or at (410) 343-7075.