A headache dentist specializes in recognizing issues in the mouth, even when the origin of the pain may seem like it is coming from elsewhere. When you have a toothache, a painful, pounding sensation in the head can often accompany this sensitivity in the mouth. If that dull, pounding or sharp headache is persistent, it may be time to visit the headache dentist for a checkup.
Headaches as a sign of oral health issues
Many adults are quick to assume that their headaches are caused by stress, tension or even vision problems. But oral health and headaches are, in fact, directly related to one another. Many problems that cause headaches are often caused by problems that can only be treated by a headache dentist. Especially if patients have tried everything to get rid of a headache, the origin may be in their teeth, gums or jawbone.
What triggers a headache?
Even a small cavity or case of gum disease can cause a headache. The oral tissues, teeth and jawbone are very closely connected to the cranium, as well as the face. Pain in the head that originates in the temples is almost always linked to an oral health issue.
Usually, the headaches that are associated with oral health problems are tension headaches. This specific type of headache is caused by muscle strain that originates from the mouth muscles or jaw hinges. Tension headaches are characterized by a dull, radiating headache that is felt on either one or both sides of the head.
The following are other possible headache triggers.
The unconscious grinding and clenching of teeth are known as bruxism. Teeth grinding affects many adults and often goes unnoticed for long periods of time due to the fact that the condition mostly occurs at night when the sufferer is asleep. Those who sleep next to a spouse are the first ones to hear about it, as loud teeth grinding or snoring is one of the symptoms of bruxism.
The biggest warning sign of bruxism is waking up with a dull headache. This headache may last all day, or go away within the middle of the day. Another symptom of bruxism is dull pain at the jaw hinges.
TMD, or temporomandibular joint dysfunction, is a condition that is characterized by sensitivity, decreased mobility and pain in the jaw hinges. TMD causes radiating, dull headaches that are similar to those that are caused by bruxism. The joint is worn down, pulling at the muscles on the side of the face for support and causing a chain reaction of pain up to the temples.
Occlusion refers to the way teeth fit together, and malocclusion to a bad bite. When the chewing surfaces of teeth do not match up correctly, the mouth muscles have to work extra hard to try and correct the issue. Overbite, jaw-development issues and missing teeth can all cause malocclusion. Thankfully, straightening teeth usually gets rid of any headaches associated with malocclusion.
Dull headaches could be a sign of oral health problems
If you are experiencing persistent, constant headaches, call a headache dentist today to set up an appointment. The solution might be as simple as a cavity filling or nightly mouthguard to rid yourself of this annoying issue.
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