Headaches are a pretty common occurrence considering the stressed lives we lead these days. Its no surprise then, that most of us pop in that pain killer and go about doing our daily chores with that dull nagging ache in the background .
If these bouts get frequent and painful, then they definitely would need looking into .Very often it may and unrelated but these could actually be linked to your teeth and your bite.
Our teeth and the way we bite involves a complex interaction of muscles, coupled with the shape and design of our teeth. It’s the shape and the design of our teeth that help to maintain the height of our face and render a youthful appearance at all times.
The teeth like all other parts of our body, tend to undergo wear and tear. And with constant use they may wear down completely and appear flattened,broken,chipped discolored and with multiple tiny fracture lines running through them.
So how are Headaches related to Teeth ?
Headaches from Muscle Tension: Quite commonly, people are in the habit of clenching their teeth, and biting hard; This causes muscle contraction and soreness. Pain and headache are not uncommon with extended clenching of the teeth.Tension headaches are usually relieved by aspirin.Specific signs which indicate that the headache may have a dental origin include:
Pain behind the eyes
Sore jaw muscles or “tired” muscles upon awakening
Clicking or popping of jaw joints
Head and/or scalp that is painful to the touch
Tired Bite : When we overwork, we take a break and get back to feeling good. Sadly, the teeth and the jaw muscles can never go on a break; That’s why, its so important to keep the teeth and jaw muscles healthy and fit at all times.
The most important way to do this is to make sure the teeth are in perfect shape. Very often worn-down teeth can make the bite irregular and the jaw muscles get overstretched when they are closing,or biting, to eat food. This extended hyperactivity of the muscle can make it every sore. So,if you have broken or worn down teeth, now is the time to have them restored and rehabilitated professionally.
Muscle Imbalance : Your head is delicately balanced on top of the spinal column by muscles in the jaw,neck,shoulders and your back. Your head weighs approximately 15 pounds. This delicate balance is held in place by a series of powerful muscles.
There have been innumerable cases in my dental practice, where I have come across multiple cases where the patient tends to complain of back pain.This back pain can very often be traced back to a dental origin..
Badly fitting crowns or fillings can cause the bite to change; This changed bite in turn, tends to over-stretch some of the muscles.These muscles tend to get overworked,fatigued and very painful. Once the muscles get painful, a vicious cycle begins.The pain makes you feel tense and stiff. This worsens the muscle spasm, which in turn increases the pain. So, if you’ve been having muscle pain or back pain after some dental treatment, please have your bite re-examined and fixed before the damage gets extensive.
Dental Treatment : If you realize that your muscle pain may have started after some dental work, see your dentist and have the bite balanced .This is a simple technique whereby the dentist will recheck the bite with marking paper, to see if the teeth contact abnormally and in an uncomfortable way. A minor adjustment is all that is needed to make the jaw muscle totally comfortable and relaxed.
Splints : There are a handful of people I see routinely who may not have a bad bite, but are constantly in the habit of clenching or grinding their teeth.
The best way to deal with this is giving the patient a dental splint.This is a small appliance they need to wear to sleep.The splint relaxes the muscles and prevents clenching, rendering the muscle soreness to disappear completely.
So if you’ve been having bouts of headaches or soreness of the jaw muscles that don’t seem to go away, it may just be time to see your dentist and get your bite fixed!Don’t delay it, it may get worse.
Till next week then, take care and smile away
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