Do you suffer from chronic headaches? If so, have you ever thought to seek help from your dentist? As many as 80% of all headaches occur from muscle tension. This tension can be found in the jaw as a result of a bad bite or a tooth grinding habit. Your dentist can help you avoid headaches due to dental stress.
To take a closer look at exactly how a bad bite causes headaches, it is important to understand the relationship between your jaw, teeth and head. Did you know that every time you swallow, your upper and lower teeth press firmly against one another to brace your jaw against your skull? If the teeth are not properly aligned or even missing, it makes your muscles work even harder to close the teeth together. Considering that the average person swallows about 2000 times a day, it is easy for your jaw muscles to tire out and become strained over the course of the day. This is a major cause of tension headaches, which can feel like a steel band is wrapped around one or both sides of your head. It is a dull ache instead of throbbing pain.
Another common reason for your morning headache is nighttime bruxism. Bruxism refers to a teeth-grinding habit, either conscious or subconscious. Many patients grind their teeth while they sleep. The result of your jaw muscles working for hours through the night is often the presence of an unwelcome headache when you wake up. Your dentist can prescribe a custom-fit mouth guard to not only reduce your tension headaches, but to also prevent tooth damage.
Instead of resorting to popping aspirin to relive your tension headaches each day, consider telling your dentist about your problem. Dr. Porcaro of Grateful Dental can carefully examine the relationship between your bite and jaw to determine if the source of your headaches is in your mouth. A custom mouth guard is an easy solution that can restore your quality of life and save your smile!