Headaches And Oral Health
Getting a headache is one of the most frustrating inconveniences that you can suffer from. They make it hard to concentrate on your daily routine while making you miserable. We found an explanation for some of the most common causes of headaches from a source you might not have thought of: dentists. One of the most common causes of headaches actually come from oral health concerns and can be prevented by your dentist.
When it comes to headaches that are caused by your oral health, the primary culprit is tension headaches. These headaches are caused by muscle strain that builds up throughout the jaw and face. They happen when you clench or grind your teeth either during the day or when you sleep. Most commonly, it is sleep grinding and clenching that result in tension headaches, since you are not conscious when it is happening.
Signs that it is a Tension Headache
If no one has told you that you have been grinding your teeth at night, you might be curious how you can know. There are several clues, including whether your teeth hurt immediately when you wake up or if you find that the joints of your jaw are feeling sore or tight in the morning. You might also notice that it is more sensitive to bite on your teeth.
Clenching and Grinding
Clenching and grinding your teeth, also known as bruxism, can be caused by several different factors. If you have a bite that is slightly off, your mouth might work on it while you are asleep, pushing your jaw muscles and giving you a headache. Bruxism can also be caused by stress. If you are overly stressed throughout the day, your mind might be working over those concerns while you are asleep. As your jaw is getting no break from movement and pressure throughout both day and night, the muscles eventually tire, pulling at your head and giving you a headache.
If you do suffer from bruxism, there is help out there for you. We asked dentist Christoffer Bjelland what he recommended that patients do when they discover that they have been clenching and grinding their teeth at night. His solution was to use a night guard. This is a piece of plastic, commonly customized to match your teeth perfectly. You wear a night guard while you are sleeping, providing a safe cushion between your teeth, allowing your jaw to relax and effectively eliminating a tension headache.
Other Dental Headache Causes
While tension headaches are the most common type of headaches that are related to dental concerns, they are not the only ones. If you have any deep cavities or have had any aggravated roots, you can also get a headache. This is because of the nerves that live within your teeth. When they are attacked by decay, they will react by sending out pain signals, often which wind up as headaches. If you have had an extraction recently and are suffering from a major headache, you might be at risk of having a dry socket. This is when there is no blood clot protecting the opening where your tooth is from exposing your jaw bone. They are very painful.
What To Do?
If you believe that you are suffering from a headache that might be directly related to any dental concerns that you might have, the best thing that you can do is make an appointment to see your dentist. Your dentist will be able to confirm whether your headaches are dental related or not. Regardless, do not ignore a persistent headache.