Headaches are never any fun, especially if they happen all the time. If you have frequent headaches, you may want to talk to your dentist. Your headaches could possibly be related to a dental problem. If so, they can help provide you with treatment options to reduce your pain and discomfort.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ or TMD)
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a condition that occurs when the jaw joints cannot function properly. If there is damage to the muscles, joints, or ligaments, a person may experience pain or discomfort in the jaw or surrounding areas. The jaw joint performs a hinging and sliding motion that allows the mouth to open and close. It is a vital function necessary for eating, speaking, and resting. When there is pain in the jaw joint, it can make vital processes difficult.
There are a variety of ways someone can develop TMJ. Generally, the jaw joint can become dysfunctional if someone repeatedly performs a movement or behavior that damages the cartilage or puts too much pressure on the jaw itself. For example, grinding or clenching your teeth can create excess tension in the jaw, which can damage the teeth and the function of the joint. Additionally, some people are born with a jaw deformity that can cause pain or discomfort.
When there is pain in the jaw, you can experience pain in other places, including the neck, shoulders, and head. This is because TMJ causes tension in the jaw, which can spread to nearby areas. It is common among people with TMJ to have frequent headaches.
Dentists will refer to a bite problem as an issue with the alignment of your teeth or jaw. When we think of bite problems, we tend to think of the problems it may cause with our appearance. However, they can actually create dental concerns that may disrupt your life or damage your oral health.
Your jaw should move in a precise way to maintain health and function. Yet, a bite problem can affect this movement, causing pain or discomfort. People with bite problems can experience toothaches, TMJ, and headaches. If you have a bite problem that causes difficulties, your dentist can offer alignment options, such as Invisalign.
Bruxism or teeth grinding is a condition where someone grinds their teeth or clenches their jaw. Generally, this is a behavior that occurs at night while asleep; however, some people clench their teeth as a coping mechanism for stress or intense emotions. Unfortunately, this can significantly affect your teeth and jaws.
As you grind your teeth back and forth, it puts a strain on your teeth and jaw muscles. Not only can this break your teeth, but it can also cause tightness in your jaw muscles. When this happens, you can experience pain in your face and neck. In addition, this muscle tension can cause frequent or recurring headaches.