Tension Headaches

Tension Headaches

People are often surprised to hear that there is a strong correlation between headaches and your bite. If you have headaches on a regular basis, it is a good idea to tell your dentist. But why your dentist?  First of all, it is important to have this information as part of your medical records.  Depending upon the type of headache, their frequency, and their severity, there are a variety of medical reasons that this can be important information for your dentist.  But, most importantly, your headaches may be caused by an abnormal bite, and if so, your dentist can treat them more effectively than anyone else.

Headache is just one symptom that may be attributable to poor occlusion (or a bad bite).  Other symptoms such as pain or noise in the jaw joint, facial pain, sensitive teeth, difficulty chewing, and neck pain may also be related to your occlusion and should be discussed with your dentist.  There are many types of headaches, however, if they occur with some regularity or have persisted for a long period of time, it is wise to discuss them with your dentist.

The muscles of the temple area of the forehead are the muscles that play an important part in the posturing and closing of the jaw.  If your occlusion (bite) is not right, it can lead to abnormal tension in these muscles and be one of the several possible causes of tension type headaches.  Tension headaches are by far the most common headache and estimated to be the cause of as much as 90% of all headaches!

If the bite is not corrected, the muscles may remain tense for long periods of time.  The contracted muscle does not get a chance to rest and soon suffers from poor circulation, lack of oxygen and accumulation of waste products of metabolism.  The result, headache!

At Aesthetic Family Dentistry we have the latest technology, which allows us to objectively evaluate the state of these muscles and various other factors that may be affecting your bite.  Based on this and other information obtained from your examination we can determine if your bite is a possible cause of headache pain with a high degree of confidence and recommend the appropriate treatment.  Some of the options may include the fabrication of an orthotic which is worn over your teeth, orthodontics or dental restorations to permanently alter your bite to a more relaxed position.