Young woman suffering from headache

What Do Dentists Know About Headaches?

Headaches and migraines can be debilitating.

You’ve tried it all. Over-the-counter pain medications, sleeping, spending more time outside, and everything in between. Nothing seems to take away the dull, throbbing pain behind your eyes.

You tell yourself you’ll do whatever it takes to make it stop. So why haven’t you tried talking to a neuromuscular dentist?

How can a dentist help with my headaches?

Neuromuscular dentistry’s main focus is correcting jaw misalignment. Specialists in this area determine the best position of your jaw to adjust how your upper and lower teeth come together. They realign your jaw through cosmetic dental restorations, tooth recontouring, or orthodontics in an attempt to alleviate stress from your jaw muscles to help alleviate painful TMJ symptoms.

Most people who suffer from headaches also have short, worn-down teeth. This starts when your body senses that your teeth don’t fit together perfectly and the grinding is your body’s way of wearing down the teeth that are too high.

If you put your teeth together, rest your fingers on the sides of your face, and grind your teeth together, you’ll feel muscles moving around in your cheeks. These are the masseter muscles. The muscles you feel in the sides of your eyes are called temporalis muscles. These muscles work constantly while you grind your teeth which can lead to headaches.

Neuromuscular dentists will help position your jaw in a way that allows both sets of muscles to be relaxed and the rest of your body to be comfortable. This position usually involves your teeth being a little bit apart and your lower jaw slightly forward.

Are there other treatment options I should consider?

If you’d like to consider other treatment methods, there are more options for you to look into.

TMJ Treatment

Your headache may be a result of temporomandibular joint disorder. Once you start to notice symptoms, which include headaches, pain in your face, neck, or ears, and ringing in your ears, try home care for about a week. If that doesn’t work, schedule an appointment with a neuromuscular dentist.

They will review your medical history and symptoms before doing a physical exam. During the exam, they’ll get digital measurements of the state of your jaw, including muscle tension and jaw motion.

Once you’ve been diagnosed with TMJ, they can design an oral splint to help with your symptoms. If you’re searching for something a little more intensive, your neuromuscular dentist can suggest full mouth reconstruction to ensure that your teeth hold your jaw in a healthy position without the splint. Many people prefer this option, especially if their teeth have been damaged as a result of TMJ.

Toothache treatment

Sometimes the pain from a toothache radiates throughout your head. This is because toothaches activate nerve endings in your face, causing you to feel pain all over.

If your migraine is triggered by a toothache, talk to your dentist about the best course of action. This may involve restorative treatment like extractions, root canals, or fillings.

Where can I find a neuromuscular dentist in Ottawa?

If you’re looking for a neuromuscular dentist in the Ottawa or Kanata area, look no further than Dr. Andrea Stevens. She is specially trained in techniques that are designed to treat headaches and facial pain.

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