Major organic disorders need not be the reason behind all types of headaches; some may be caused due to neuromuscular triggers. Treatment of these triggers may help reduce the severity and frequency of headaches such as migraines. Also if you have been experiencing dull headaches and a painful jaw then you might have been clenching or grinding your teeth at night.
Grinding could be due to stress, abnormal bite, crooked or missing teeth or due to sleep disorders. Stiff and painful jaw muscles are a clear indicator of teeth clenching. This may result in wearing away of the teeth in addition to migraine headaches and aching muscles.
Wearing a mouth-orthotic dental devise that is custom made for each patient reduces headaches upto 77% in the first two months. Creation and fitting of a mouth guard is a non surgical procedure and has no associated side effects or risks.
Over the years studies have shown a relation between mal-occlusion and migraine headaches. Tooth malocclusion sets in when teeth in the lower and upper jaw don’t come together properly or in harmony. This may lead to Tempero Mandibular Joint (TMJ) pain or wearing away of the teeth in addition to headaches.
The temepero mandibular joint is the one located on both sides of the head in front of the ears. These joints move while talking or chewing. Misalignment of the jaw causes problems such as headaches, dizzy feeling, shoulder and neck pain, stuffy ears etc.
Neuromuscular dentists take a holistic approach by treating the root cause. This is achieved by making the jaw function normally and eliminates pain and discomfort. An oral appliance called stabilization splint can be used to reduce grinding or clenching and helps treat TMJ pain.
Other irreversible treatment options include
T-Scan: It is a diagnostic tool used to measure the bite fore or occlusal force. This can be used to plan treatment for TMJ, fixed prosthetics, occlusal adjustments etc.
Occlusal Equilibrium: The procedure involves reshaping of selected biting surfaces.
Surgery: This option is considered only after all conservative methods have failed.
Implants: Involves surgical replacement of jaw joints and should be considered as the last option.
The treatment has various stages that try to eliminate the pain gradually. In case you have been experiencing frequent headaches it is better to consult our neuromuscular dentist who can provide the exact diagnosis and help you in managing your headache effectively.