One may not think the cause of headaches can point to dental health, but sometimes, that is just the case. One in every eight Americans have recurring headaches and 80% of them are caused by muscle tension. Here are a few ways headaches can be caused by your dental health and how a dentist may be able to alleviate them.
Headaches can be caused by muscle strain or muscle contraction. This is when your muscles are held tight and cause a non-throbbing pain in your head. This type of headache usually causes pain behind the ears, sore jaw muscles first thing in the morning, a clicking or popping sound in your jaw, and pain when your head or scalp is touched.
You may not know that when you swallow, you upper and lower teeth come together to brace our jaw. You swallow over 2,000 times every day and night. If your teeth are not aligned correctly or a tooth is missing, your muscles will work harder to support your jaw. The muscles that work harder than others to support your jaw and head will cause pain and headaches.
Referral pain is pain that is felt somewhere other than its actual origin. A single tooth in your mouth can lead to pain in your head.
Your head is balanced on the top of your spinal cord by your jaw, neck, shoulders, and back muscles. When one muscle is tense, it contracts causing muscle imbalance. Other muscles have to again work harder to keep your head balanced causing a headache. An unstable bite causes those muscles to work in the same way triggering pain in the head.
Visiting the dentist can be your cure to recurring headaches. Correcting an unstable bite allows your jaw, head, shoulders, and back muscles to work without strain or tension. Dental treatment along with physical therapy can also cure headaches. Counseling and relaxation training is another way to rid those horrible headaches.
If you are experiencing recurring headaches, a visit to your dentist is a great place to start to try easing the pain.