Living with any kind of pain is unacceptable, but living with constant headaches is one of those things that you just can’t understand unless you have experienced it. The pain is only part of the problem. Patients living with headaches have to deal with their plans be constantly thwarted. Being miserable during special events. Never really enjoying life because if they don’t have a headache, they are worrying when the next will strike.
As we tell patients who come into our Plymouth, MI dentist office, you don’t have to live like this! Now, the sad news is that many patients don’t realize that we might be able to help them end their headaches during a dental appointment! Patients often mention their headaches to us, and we take it from there.
General care physicians aren’t always the best people to handle headaches because they tend to write a prescription for the pain and leave it at that. They don’t want to poke and prod and still have no answers for you! However, the dentist can often help, and that’s what we intend to start doing right now.
You Deserve Better Than Painful Headaches
No one should have to live with the constant pain and fear of pain that comes with recurring headaches. If your headaches are affecting your work, your school, your family life, or your social life, then it is time to get solutions. Our office can’t help every headache case, but you would be surprised by how many people suffer from recurring headaches because of an issue with their teeth/jaw!
A Possible Cause: TMJ Dysfunction
The most probable cause for headaches is an issue with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This is the joint that holds your lower jaw in place. This joint opens your mouth thousands of times each day, so when there is a problem, you will feel the pain. Much of the time, the symptom you get is a headache.
Strain on TMJ – TMJ dysfunction occurs when there is a strain on the TMJ. This could be caused by arthritis, an injury, or clenching/grinding your teeth during a stressful situation or while you sleep.
Bruxism – Compulsive clenching/grinding of your teeth is called bruxism. Many people don’t realize they have this condition until a loved one sleeps next to them and lets them know! We can see the evidence on your teeth. The constant pressure and movement puts a strain on the TMJ and can cause headaches.
Misalignment – Your teeth are made up of grooves and cusps that are meant to fit together in a natural, relaxed way. If you have a misalignment, where your teeth cannot fit together in a relaxed way, your TMJ will suffer. The constant strain and movement will prevent the TMJ from getting rest, which could lead to TMJ-related headaches.
Treating TMJ Dysfunction
Providing treatment for TMJ dysfunction is ordinarily very simple and straightforward. We will begin with conservative home remedies for you to try, but if that doesn’t work, we will become more aggressive with our treatment. See below to get an idea of how it will work.
Home Remedies – Begin trying to ease your headaches with some home treatment, like relaxation exercises before bed. You might also try using a warm cloth on your jaw to relax the muscles before falling asleep. If you find that you are clenching your teeth throughout the day, practice holding your tongue between your teeth to force your jaw to relax.
Splint – If home remedies don’t do the trick, it’s time to try something else. While still incredibly simple, a bite splint while you are sleeping will prevent your teeth from connecting. It is made of soft plastic, so it is comfortable to wear. If you tend to clench/grind your teeth while at work, we may recommend that you wear your splint during those stressful moments.
Send to Specialist – The bite splint and home remedies will help about 95% of the TMJ dysfunction cases that we see. If you fit in that last 5%, we will recommend that you see a TMJ specialist who can take your care to the next level.
Learn More When You Call Today!
Are you ready to end your headaches? Contact our office today to set up an appointment. Let us know what you’ve been experiencing, and we will do our best to help you have a headache-free future!