Many of us suffer from chronic headaches that are too severe to bear. Most of the headaches occur due to muscle tension. But there various headaches that are related to dental stress. This article deals with how dental stress can lead to headaches and how your dentist can treat them.
Research says that approximately 40% of hale and hearty individuals suffer from recurrent headaches. Over the years we have learned a lot of causes of headaches and bad bite is one of those causes.
How is dental stress responsible for headache?
It is likely for you to wonder how dental stress is responsible for headache! Well, tension headache results from muscle strain and contraction. When muscles are tightly held for a longer duration of time, they begin to pain. Dental stress headaches are type of muscle tension headache. It may occur on one side or both sides of the head. The pain is tremendous and can be usually relieved by aspirin. But how do you identify this pain? Read on.
Symptoms which indicate the pain might have a dental origin are:
- Teeth grinding
- Sore jaw muscles
- Pain behind eyes
- Popping jaw joints
- Head or scalp painful to touch
What is Tired Bite
The muscles that control your jaw and hold your head upright are very complex. We don’t realise that every time we swallow, our upper and lower teeth must come together in a firm way to brace the jaw against the skull. If your bite is unstable due to missing tooth or poorly aligned teeth, the muscle must work harder to bring the teeth together. The over worked muscles get strained and eventually become painful causing headaches.
What is Referred Pain
Referred pain is when a pain originates in one part of the body and differs from the area where it is felt. This type of pain can be felt in jaw joints or cheeks. However a lot of times, the pain is “referred” to other areas of the head. Even a single tooth is enough to refer pain to the head.
What is Muscle Imbalance
Other muscles may also get involved. Your head is delicately balanced on top of your spinal column by muscles in your neck, jaw, shoulders and back. It is observed that the dental headache originates from an unstable bite which causes the muscles of the head, neck and jaw to overwork and become painful. The pain is severe and makes you feel anxious and tense.
When Do You Need Dental Treatment
You must contact your dentist, if you suspect that the cause of your headache is your bite. He will examine your teeth, muscles and jaw joints to determine if dental stress exists and if it is the source of your headache. If yes then the treatment will involve correcting your bite and let the muscle function without tension and strain. Relaxation and counselling can also be helpful to teach you ways to relax the muscles and identify the source of emotional stress.
If you have either of the symptoms mentioned, it is time you discuss it with your dentist. Do not neglect this as it can turn out to be major cause of headache for you later on.