When you hear the words “headache” and “migraine,” what pops into your head? Do you think about the random headaches you might experience from time to time, or do you shudder thinking about the headaches that you experience on a routine and regular basis? If the latter, it might be time to see your Plano, TX dentist who can treat headaches.
You might not ordinarily think of a dentist as the best source for headache relief, but many recurring headaches are caused by pain in your jaw. More on that later. The point is that when you go to your general care physician, they are not trained in the specifics and intricacies of your jaw, and so they might overlook your jaw as a possible source for pain.
Rather than spending the rest of your life with a bottle of painkillers in your pocket, you can come see us at 1st in Smiles and possibly find the source of the pain. Not only find the pain, but we can treat the source and get you back to a normal life once and for all!
Your Life Shouldn’t Revolve Around Pain
You shouldn’t spend your day to day thinking about when or if a headache is going to strike. You should be able to make plans with your friends and family and not worry that a sudden migraine will ruin the event. You shouldn’t feel like you have to plan your life around pain when there are solutions that really work! The first step is figuring out what is causing the pain in the first place!
What is Causing the Headaches?
Finding the cause for headaches can be a challenge, especially for a general care physician. It’s important to continue looking for solutions before signing up for a life of prescriptions and tests. If your headaches are related to your jaw, we can find out in one simple examination of your temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
Your TMJ is the joint that holds your lower jaw in place. Each time you open and close your mouth, your TMJ is in action. Every time you chew, swallow, and smile, your TMJ is adjusting your jaw. With so much movement, it’s no wonder that it can cause pain. This is especially true if your TMJ has been damaged or strained in some way. Each movement will cause even more pain!
TMJ is Often Linked to Bruxism
You might be wondering how your TMJ would become damaged. This can often be linked to bruxism, which is another word for habitually clenching or grinding your teeth together. That constant pressure and tightness of the jaw muscles can lead to strains and tears for your TMJ. People often think they have a stress headache, but it is sometimes a headache due to the clenching and grinding of their teeth!
Bruxism is Often Linked to Misalignment
While stress can play a big role, bruxism is more often associated with the misalignment of your teeth. If you have a crooked tooth or your jaws are out of alignment, it will add extra strain to your TMJ. Your joint will constantly be adjusting and moving your teeth to try to find a comfortable resting place, which can lead to pain in your TMJ and subsequent headaches.
Solving the Problem
Now that you have an idea of how headaches can be tied to any number of things in your jaw, it’s time to talk about how we can treat your headaches and migraines. Rather than giving you a dose for the pain, we will actually try to ease the strain on your TMJ and give it a chance to heal! We can do that in many ways, like those listed below.
TMJ Specialist Appointment – You will begin with an appointment with our TMJ specialist, who comes into the office when needed. This specialist can do a quick exam and figure out if your jaw is indeed the culprit for your headaches and pain. Many patients tell us that this specialist appointment is often the first step to their pain-free lives!
Night Guard – Many patients who are suffering from bruxism will grind or clench their teeth while they sleep. There’s no way to avoid this and very little you can do to stop it because you are unconscious. If this is you, we may recommend a night guard. A night guard is a thin, plastic mouthguard that will keep your teeth from coming in contact and ease the tension on your TMJ.
Addressing Misalignment – If your teeth are out of alignment, it’s time to correct the problem! We offer Invisalign orthodontics to help patients realign their teeth and get a comfortable smile once again. The alignment of your teeth will give them a comfortable resting place, which will make grinding and clenching your teeth while you sleep less likely!
Contact Us to Get Started
If you are tired of the constant headaches and out-of-control feeling you have with your life, contact our office. We can help you set up an appointment with our TMJ specialist so that you can get answers NOW! If we don’t see a problem with your TMJ, at least you will have one possibility marked off your list, and you can move on to other possibilities! Call today so that we can help you get out of pain as quickly as possible.