You might not expect it, but it turns out your oral health and headaches are often directly correlated. In fact, many of your constant headaches and/or migraines are actually caused by problems that can be treated more effectively by your dentist than your family doctor.
Common Causes and Treatments
Our mouths are the gateways to our body, and since things are always coming in and going out, our mouth becomes filled with oral bacteria. Before you panic, it is important to note that most of this bacteria is vital for our bodies to maintain a natural balance. For those who suffer from constant tension headaches and migraines, they may have a significantly higher level of certain mouth bacteria. In particular, Rothia Mucilaginosa and Haemophilus Parainfluenza were identified as the most common mouth bacteria to being associated with headaches and migraines. To maintain a healthy balance of mouth bacteria, patients are advised to take good care of their teeth: brush your teeth at least twice per day, floss often, and visit your dentist for a check up/cleaning at least twice per year. If not taken care of, the bacteria will eventually cause cavities and infections that can lead to bigger problems than headaches and migraines.
Another common cause for constant headaches and migraines is muscle strain that builds up around the mouth and the jaw. Muscle strain can happen due to many reasons, however the most common is a “bad bite”. You can diagnose a bad bite when you recognize that the chewing surfaces of your teeth don’t meet together when you close your mouth. When this is the case, the muscles in your mouth and around your jaw have to work much harder to chew food, and therefore, the restless muscle eventually becomes strained. When the strain becomes constant it leads to the headaches and migraines you’re experiencing. There are a few usual sources for bad bite, the most popular being incoming wisdom teeth. Bad bite is certainly not an easy or quick fix. Therefore, upon noticing your teeth are not meeting, you should consider braces or a wisdom tooth surgery. Be sure to consult your dentist first!
Other dental conditions, including TMJ Disorder and Bruxism can also result in constant headache tension and migraines. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is meeting point for the skull and the lower jawbone. This joint becomes dysfunctional when the movement of the two bones becomes abnormal on one or both sides. This dysfunction can happen for many reasons, including sports injuries, whiplash, and bruxism. If you hear any clicking or popping sounds in the jaw, this is usually a reliable sign suggesting your dealing with TMJD. Bruxism is the constant grinding of your teeth and it usually happens subconsciously when we are awake and, more dangerously, when we are asleep. TMJ and bruxism disorders are often treated by wearing an oral appliance that is subscribed to you by your dentist.
If you have been dealing with constant headaches and migraines you should consider your mouth as being the primary source of the problem. Consult your dentist to know what treatment is best for you. At Dr. James Vlahos Cosmetic and General Dentistry we have the right personnel with the right set of expertise to help you treat any dental issues you may have including dreadful constant headaches and migraines. Don’t hesitate to call us today and get rid of your pain once and for all!