The Link Between Headaches and Dental Problems

Headaches can be a major pain, especially if they occur frequently. If this sounds like you, there could be a source you may not have considered: dental problems.

The fact is, dental problems can cause headaches. In this blog, Joseph Yousefian, DMD, of Yousefian Orthodontics for Children, Teens, and Adults explains more about the link between dental issues and headaches and discusses treatment options.

The biggest cause of dental headaches

The most common cause of dental headaches is temporomandibular disorder (TMD). This condition is caused by a dysfunction of one or both of the temporomandibular joints, which is where your upper and lower jaws connect. Temporomandibular disorder can also affect the nerves in your face.

Signs that you may have this disorder include a clicking sound or pain when you chew, aching pain around your ears, and locking of one or both joints. Pain from this disorder can cause headaches.

Other causes of dental headaches

Tooth grinding

Tooth grinding, also called bruxism, is another common cause of frequent headaches. This grinding most often occurs during sleep, but it can occur when you’re awake, too. The grinding puts pressure on the teeth and jaws, which can lead to headaches. 

If you grind your teeth, a store-bought mouthguard may help prevent damage to your teeth. However, it might be better to see Dr. Yousefian about it, because he can give you a custom mouthguard that will fit your mouth exactly.

Bruxism can also be caused by sleep apnea, a condition in which your airways get blocked during the night and you wake up for brief periods to start breathing again. This condition is most often treated with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device. Dr. Yousefian has also had great success in treating sleep apnea with teledontics, a nonsurgical approach to keeping your airways open while you sleep.

Improper bite alignment

An improper bite alignment can cause many problems, including headaches. If your bite isn’t aligned properly, this could cause your facial muscles to work harder, which in turn could cause jaw pain and headache pain. 

Sometimes, previous dental work, such as crowns that are placed too high, can put your bite out of alignment. Some issues may just take one visit to correct. In more serious cases, you may need braces or Invisalign to correct your bite. 

If you have frequent headaches and want to see if dental issues could be causing or contributing to them, book an appointment online or over the phone with Yousefian Orthodontics for Children, Teens, and Adults today.

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