Headaches? You're Not Alone!
Headaches are the number one cause of pain in the United States. Approximately 40% of all otherwise healthy individuals suffer from chronic headaches. Over the years, we’ve learned much about what causes headaches and how to treat them. Today, there’s a growing realization that a bad dental bite is a common cause of headaches.
How can your bite cause a headache? Tension headaches result from muscle strain or contraction. A tension headache may be felt on one side, or on both sides of your head at the same time. The headache may even surround your head and feel as if a steel band was wrapped around it!
Here are some signs that your headache might be caused by a bad bite:
- Pain behind the eyes
- Sore jaw muscles or “tired” muscles upon awakening
- Teeth grinding
- Clicking or popping jaw joints
- When your head or scalp are painful to the touch
Headaches from Tired Bite
Every time you swallow, your upper and lower teeth must come together in a firm way to brace the jaw against the skull. We swallow more than 2,000 times a day. If your bite is unstable from poorly aligned teeth, the muscles are forced to work much harder to bring your teeth together. When muscles are under constant strain, they eventually start to hurt.
Sometimes, pain is “referred” from one part of your body to another. A single toothache can refer pain to other parts of the head.
Your head, which weighs about the same as a bowling ball, is delicately balanced on top of your spinal column by muscles in your jaw, neck, shoulders and back. When muscles are tense, they shorten. When even a single jaw, neck or shoulder muscle becomes shortened, the other related muscles are forced to work overtime to keep the head in position.
How We Treat Headaches
If you suspect that your headaches are caused by your bite, give us a call. We’ll examine your teeth, your muscles and your jaw joints to determine if dental stress is the culprit. If that’s the case, we’ll work to correct your bite so that the muscles in your body can function without all that extra strain and tension.