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Could your teeth be causing your headaches?

Published on 11/03/2017

Could your teeth be causing your headaches?

When you attend your routine dental appointment the dentist will not only look at the health of your teeth and gums but will also look at the way your teeth meet when you bite. If your teeth do not fit together properly you can experience problems that can be much further reaching than just your teeth. You may experience problems with your gums, the temporomandibular joint or your facial and neck muscles.

Jaw problems

If your teeth do not meet correctly, you may experience a number of different problems including:

  • Breaking or chipping your teeth more often and fillings wearing down quickly.
  • Sensitivity when you bite your teeth together
  • Loose teeth or receding gums can worsen
  • Clicking, grinding or pain in your jaw joints, ringing in your ears and difficulty opening and closing your mouth
  • Muscle spasms, headaches, pain behind the eyes, sinus pains and pains in your neck and shoulders caused by the muscles having to work harder due to the incorrect position of your jaw.

Clenching and Grinding

It is thought that over six million people in the UK grind their teeth, so you are not alone. Around 80% of teeth grinding occurs subconsciously and is usually associated with contributing factors such as stress or anxiety. Some people will also clench their teeth when concentrating on a task. You may wake up with a stiff jaw or tenderness when you bite together, this could be caused by clenching or grinding in your sleep.

Treatment

There are a number of different treatments available.

  • If it is an incorrect bite causing you problems, the dentist may advise you wear a hard-plastic appliance that fits over your upper and lower teeth forcing them to meet where your muscles are relaxed. If you find that this gives instant relief it may be worth considering having your bite altered permanently.
  • If you are grinding or clenching your teeth at night, the dentist may advise that you wear a bite guard at night. This will help to protect your teeth from any further damage.
  • Focusing on a soft diet for a short time helps to reduce the pressure put on your jaw joint and when combined with corrective exercises and applying heat can help to reduce symptoms.
  • Counselling and relaxation therapy can also help you to become more aware of stressful situations and control tension.
  • In severe cases, you may need to be referred to a specialist. They will be able to advise on alternative treatments including tooth adjustments, replacement of teeth and orthodontic treatment.

The team at Leigh Dental Centre are all trained to deal with a wide range of dental problems so if you are experiencing any jaw problems do not hesitate to discuss this with the team at your next appointment. Call Leigh Dental Centre on 01702 472929 to book your appointment today.

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