Many patients suffer from persistent headaches without ever thinking that their dentist may be able to help. In fact, there are many dental problems that can lead to head, neck, and jaw ache. Of course, there are other reasons for headaches, so we would always advise you to visit your doctor or neurologist to check there are no underlying causes. However, depending on the situation, this may be something we can help with!
Headaches, migraines, neck ache, tension and jaw pain can be caused by an unbalanced bite or through grinding and clenching your teeth during sleep. This condition is known as bruxism.
Many people will experience bruxism at some point in their life; it is frequently a symptom of stress and can be a side-effect of other medical conditions or prescribed medicines. As well as night-time tooth grinding, patients with bruxism frequently clench their teeth during the day without knowing – all of which can lead to headaches.
Often bruxism is temporary and goes away on its own, but if it persists and is left untreated, it can cause excess wear and damage to the teeth and surrounding structures, with up to 20 times the normal pressure being exerted during night-time tooth clenching. Dental splints, which prevent the teeth from grinding together at night, are an effective form of treatment in many cases.
Other dental conditions that can cause headaches include the position of the lower jaw and problems with how your jaws meet. If you are experiencing headaches that your doctor or neurologist cannot find an underlying cause for, please speak to one of our dentists and we will be able to discuss treatment options with you.