If you are in severe pain, it’s no laughing matter. One of the most common causes of pain is a toothache. More children loose days in school due to having pain in their mouth then to anything else. This June marks National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, a great time to learn how to avoid pain.
There are a few different ways in which your oral health can lead to a headache. If you are experiencing tooth pain, grinding of teeth, Temporomandibular joint disorder also known as TMJ, or your bite is off these can all lead to headaches. If any of these issues are occurring you should see your holistic dentist for treatment.
One of the main causes of migraine headaches is due to a toothache. Almost all headaches and toothaches can be detected by the trigeminal nerve which is one of the largest nerves in your head. This one nerve provides sensation to most of your face, which includes your teeth and gums.
When a toothache occurs, the trigeminal nerve can get irritated which will then trigger your migraine headache. If the toothache is left untreated, you may then experience nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound as well.
Teeth grinding and clenching
Teeth grinding and clenching is also known as bruxism. This may occur at night but can also occur during the day causing jaw pain as well as headaches. During Covid more people have been seen by our dentists after having broken a tooth due to the stress from the pandemic.
Our dentists have undergone specific training through FACE: The Foundation for Advanced Continuing Education, to provide each patient with a night guard that is suited directly for their mouth to protect their teeth from the grinding and clenching. In addition to headaches, teeth grinding can result in jaw and face pain and flattened, chipped or loose teeth.
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, is when you are experiencing a problem with your jaw joint and the muscles surrounding it. Temporomandibular joint, acts as a hinge connecting your jaw to your skull. It enables your jaw to move up and down and side to side so you can like talk, laugh, and chew.
TMJ can cause pain to your joint and muscles as well as toothaches and headaches. The headaches are typically triggered by an action like chewing or opening and closing the mouth.
Some TMJ symptoms you may experience can include:
- tight facial or jaw muscles
- jaw or facial pain
- a “clicking” noise in the jaw
- restricted movement of the jaw
- changes in your bite (that is, the way your top and bottom teeth fit together)
TMJ headaches also often recur in one or more regions of the head and face or can feel like tension headaches. If the cause is your TMJ, treatments aiming at the root cause can help ease headache pain and allow you to take precautions to prevent future headaches. Seeing a holistic dentist will help you discover the root cause of your issues.
Bad bite and headaches
If you’re missing a tooth or your teeth don’t line up correctly, your jaw muscles may be working extra hard to bring your top and bottom teeth together. Over time, this can cause TMJ and lead to migraine headaches.
What you can do
If you know the cause of your headaches, fixing the problem could be as easy as seeing your holistic dentist to get a cavity filled or receive a proper fitting night guard. If you aren’t sure, make an appointment with your dentist. Your holistic dentist will provide treatment based on the root cause of your pain.