Headaches are one of the most common problems for most of us in the Carmel area. In fact, 36 million Americans suffer from migraines, so it’s a prevalent issue for people across the country. Almost 25 percent of homes include someone with migraines and it ranks in the top 20 of the world’s most disabling medical illnesses.
So, what causes them? Surprisingly, as many as 75 percent of them might be due to dental problems.
Specifically, they could be caused a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. TMJ disorders involve problems with the jaw and severe headaches are just one of the symptoms. It could also be because of a missing tooth, a misaligned bite or crooked teeth. That’s why it’s important to consider visiting a dentist before you consider costly alternatives.
Dental-Related Headache Symptoms
The big question is, how do you know if you’re suffering dental-related headaches or simply migraines? Both involve chronic or severe headaches, but there are other signs that it may be caused by your teeth, such as:
- You get little or no success with treatments for migraines.
- Your headaches are located in your temples, the back of your head or shoulders.
- You frequently clench or grind your teeth.
- You experience stiffness or tension in your jaw.
There’s no guaranteed method for determining if you have a TMJ disorder or other dental-related issue, but the best way to identify it is by visiting Dr. Smith at Really Smile to receive an initial diagnosis.
Dental-Related Headache Treatments
Fortunately, headache relief can be much easier than identifying it. Once Dr. Smith provides a diagnosis that you may have a TMJ disorder or other dental-related problem that’s causing headaches, they may prescribe one of the following options:
- A massage – Stress and tension can affect more than your muscles; they can cause clenching and grinding teeth. A relaxing technique like a massage can help.
- A diet change – Changing what you eat and drink may be helpful, as certain diets decrease sugar intake or increase calcium/magnesium intake.
- A nightguard – Used to prevent grinding and clenching, these customized plastic mouthguards (often called nightguards) are usually worn when sleeping and separate your teeth slightly.
- A corrective dental treatment – The cause of your headaches may be a simple dental problem. If that’s the case, your dentist will prescribe a treatment that corrects your bite via a crown, bridge or braces. They could also recommend a dental implant for missing teeth.
If you’d like to know more about headaches and dental work—and the solutions we provide for people with TMJ problems in Carmel, IN—schedule a consultation with us today!