Headache Therapy Lexington, KY

If you have persistent recurring headaches, you’re not alone. Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that about half the world’s population experiences recurring headaches each year. Of course, that doesn’t make your pain and discomfort any easier to bear. You want to know why your headaches are occurring and, even more importantly, how to resolve them.

The American Headache Society says dental concerns cause many of the headaches people to experience. A bite disorder or dental problem can often be the cause of recurring headaches. Teeth grinding is one of the most common causes of dental-related headaches. Without the help of your dentist, it can also be one of the most difficult causes to identify.

Treat Headaches in Lexington, Kentucky at Complete Dentistry For All Ages

Teeth Grinding and Headaches

In many cases, patients may experience these headaches in the morning as a result of teeth grinding during sleep. That means they may not even be aware they’re doing it. This is a common sign and side effect of a temporomandibular disorder (TMD). Dr. Morgan Chambers focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of complex dental health problems because of TMD.

Dentists commonly refer to it as TMJ and offer TMJ therapy to relieve symptoms. Treating TMJ is the key to both restoring oral health and lasting dentistry.

Frequent headaches related to TMJ have several common symptoms:

  • Pain in the temples or back of the head
  • Frequent morning headaches
  • Radiating pain in the shoulders, neck, and upper back
  • Migraine headaches

Treatment for TMJ Headaches

Dr. Chambers performs a comprehensive exam, evaluating the entire occlusal system to identify where there is an imbalance. She will create a treatment plan, or give you appropriate headaches treatment recommendations. Some dental procedures she may recommend include:

  • Mouthguard and splint therapy: Dr. Chambers may recommend one of these removable appliances to reduce stress on the jaw joint. Oral devices relieve headache symptoms in patients with a mild to moderate bite disorder. Patients can wear this custom-made appliance during sleep and stressful situations where they are more likely to grind or clench their teeth.
  • Bite correction: A variety of bite correction methods can realign and restore balance to the bite. Methods include restorative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and orthodontics. Bite correction also helps avoid tooth loss that can be the result of damage from teeth grinding.

Learn more about the link between headaches and TMJ problems at our Lexington dental office. Our team at Complete Dentistry For All Ages is here to help you find relief using non-invasive treatments.

Why do people grind their teeth?

People grind their teeth for lots of reasons. Sometimes, grinding occurs as the result of stress – usually during an uncommonly stressful period. If you have headaches often when you wake, it’s more likely your grinding problem is the result of an unbalanced bite.

Your teeth should naturally line up in pairs. 16 top teeth match up with 16 bottom teeth, assuming you haven’t lost teeth. If they don’t, either through tooth loss or from a misaligned bite, your teeth will find a way to achieve that balance. That’s what causes teeth grinding!

Teeth grinding is your mouth’s unrelenting desire to find that balance that it naturally has. Grinding occurs most commonly at night when we’re not conscious of its occurrence. During the day when we are more aware of our actions, we are able to prevent grinding from occurring.

How does nighttime tooth grinding cause headaches?

As you can imagine, that continual search for balance and equilibrium means your jaw muscles are constantly clenching. The result is significant muscle strain, and that can translate into chronic headaches.

What’s more, regular grinding can cause your tooth surfaces to wear unevenly. This can result in your bite becoming even more misaligned and “out of whack.” In turn, that causes the grinding to become worse and so the cycle continues.

What can you do to prevent nighttime tooth grinding?

If you’re experiencing regular headaches when you wake up or in the hours soon after waking, see your dentist for an evaluation. Even though you may not be able to see the telltale signs of nighttime grinding, your dentist can.

Once your dentist diagnoses you with teeth grinding issues, she will help you decide how to prevent it from happening. In most cases, that involves one of two routes: A bite guard, which the dentist custom-fits to your mouth, or bite balancing. Bite balancing involves dental treatments and procedures that get right to the heart of your unbalanced bite. Eliminating the problems that are causing you to grind your teeth in the first place.

Bite balancing offers an additional advantage. By eliminating gaps, unevenly worn surfaces, crooked teeth and other defects, you also decrease the likelihood of other issues. Issues such as cavities, gum disease, or other problems that typically occur with a misaligned bite.

Is there a connection between toothache and headache?

Toothaches can trigger and stimulate headaches and chronic migraines. Cavities, broken teeth, or impacted teeth typically cause toothaches. If left untreated, a broken tooth can cause headaches and discomfort on the side of the face.

A broken tooth can cause headaches in many ways. One way is that the exposed nerve endings in the tooth sends pain signals to the brain. This can lead to a headache that feels like a pressure or throbbing sensation.

Another way a tooth can cause headaches is if food sticks between the broken tooth and another one. This causes inflammation and sometimes infection. This leads to a dull, throbbing pain in the head.

Yet another way that a broken tooth might cause headache pain is if it begins moving out of place. Biting pressure can cause shifts, or push the tooth against other teeth. This leads to to the brain receiving more pain signals.

What relieves a toothache headache?

The best way to treat a toothache headache is to first address the original issue, being your tooth pain. Reducing or stopping this pain will likely stop your headache. Try rinsing with saltwater, holding a cold or warm compress against your cheek, and taking pain relievers. These methods will help reduce and stop toothache pain, which will likely relieve pain from your headache.

Is it normal to have headaches after dental work?

Some patients report having a headache after getting dental work. For example, holding your jaw open for an extended period during your treatment can cause muscle spasms. Overworking your jaw may lead to a headache. However, it is not normal and you should consult with your dentist if this persists.

Schedule An Appointment

No matter which solution you decide is the better one for your needs, Dr. Chambers is ready to help. Visit Complete Dentistry For All Ages and schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Chambers today to learn how you can become headache-free.