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The Link Between Headaches and Dental Problems

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Headaches may be dental related.

The discomfort of chronic headaches can overshadow every aspect of your life. Headaches have many causes, with tension being a top contender. The origin of some headaches, though, is a little harder to pin down. Sometimes, unexplained headache pain can be caused by a dental problem. If you suffer from headaches and don’t know the source of the problem, let Dr. James Oldham in Smithfield NC help you identify and alleviate the cause of your headaches.

Are my teeth to blame?

It may seem odd that a dental issue can result in headache pain. I mean, you’d expect a problem with your smile to cause pain in the mouth or jaw. But the chewing system is intricately connected to muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the head and neck. A problem that begins in the mouth can manifest itself by causing pain elsewhere.

Common dental-related causes of headache pain include:

Malocclusion – The way your top and bottom rows of teeth fit together is called occlusion. You may hear it referred to as your “bite.” Malocclusion occurs when the surfaces of your upper and lower teeth don’t align properly when you bite down. This imbalance places tension on the jaw muscles, which can result in headache pain.

Bruxism – Chronic teeth grinding and jaw clenching can cause a headache upon awakening. Most people who engage in this habit do so while sleeping, so they’re typically unaware that they’re doing it. However, if you wake up with a headache, have Dr. Oldham examine your smile. He may notice unusual wear patterns on your teeth, which is another sign of clenching and grinding.

TMJ – The small joints that enable you to comfortably open and close your mouth are extremely sensitive to stimuli, including emotional stress. When these joints are taxed, they can cause pain in the head, neck, face, and throughout the body.

Non-Invasive Solutions

A dental examination at our Smithfield NC office can give Dr. Oldham the information he needs to determine a diagnosis and formulate strategies to relieve your discomfort. Headaches caused by bite problems, teeth grinding, and TMJ are often resolved with non-invasive oral appliance therapy. A comfortable, acrylic nightguard can eliminate the stress and strain of these dental conditions, which – in turn – can alleviate the headaches caused by these issues.

Don’t continue to suffer with headaches. Call our office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Oldham and rediscover improved wellbeing.

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