Dental Headache Care
Among the most prevalent reasons that patients visit the dental office are treatment for toothaches, broken or chipped teeth, and bleeding gums. Patients also frequently visit dentists seeking relief from headaches, many of which could be the result of dentomandibular sensorimotor dysfunction, a disorder of the head and neck, temporomandibular joints (TMJ), jaw function, and dental forces. This dysfunction is the underlying cause of both symptomatic and asymptomatic conditions, which may include, but are not limited to, tooth wear, bruxism, repeatedly fracturing restorations, TMJ disorders, chronic headaches and migraines, and numerous other problems.
Chronic headaches, migraines, and TMJ disorders afflict millions of people, and their effects can be quite devastating and debilitating. Approximately 90% of the population experiences headaches, and individuals who suffer from migraines lose between 157 million days of school and work annually. Additionally, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) has estimated that the number of Americans who suffer from TMJ disorders surpasses 10 million. The projection of how many individuals actually have some form of a TMJ problem could be closer to 15 to 45 million.
Innovative Diagnostic and Treatment Technology
Up to 90% of patients treated through Neuromuscular Dentistry have become pain free or have obtained substantial relief from the debilitating condition.
Then, if you’re over living a life of pain, constantly taking drugs, being absent from work, and having a disrupted social life, then simply click the “GO” button and locate the nearest Neuromuscular dentist, who has been trained in this field and you’re on the road to recovery like thousands of.
TMJ (temporomandibular joint) problems manifest themselves in a variety of ways. The most common symptoms of TMJ are migraine headaches. Commonly a tension headache. Many people who suffer from this type of headache describe it as a ring of pain around the head. TMJ related headaches are often caused where there is a constant contraction of the muscles in the jaw. This results in tension in the face, head and neck.
This tension in the muscles reduces the amount of blood that is able to reach the area. The body responds by sending more blood to the area, which results in an increase in blood pressure to the muscles of the head resulting in a headache. Clenching and grinding of teeth is creating a contraction of the muscles, which results in pain.
Aligning the temporomandibular joint and placing the jaw into its optimal position through neuromuscular dentistry can alleviate most headache problems related to TMJ, muscle, nerve and joint disorder.
Many millions suffer from migraine headaches, a type of headache that can often be debilitating. There are 3 times as many women sufferers as men. While any headache can uncomfortable, migraine headaches will often cause incapacitation.
People will often experience a warning know as an aura. These are usually sensations such as flashing lights, blind spots or tingling in the extremities. In addition to the pain of a headache, migraine symptoms can also include nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to sound and light.
The only relief many can find is by retreating to a dark quiet room for hours or even days. When left untreated, a typical migraine can last anywhere from 4 hours to days.
There is a lot that is not understood about headaches. Some researchers believe that migraines may be the result of changes in the trigeminal nerve system, which is a major pathway in the cranial nervous system. It is felt that changes in brain chemicals such as serotonin affect the pain messages running along this pathway.
When a headache occurs, the level of serotonin in the brain drops. Scientists believe that this causes the trigeminal nerve to release a protein which travels to the brain’s outer covering. This protein causes the blood vessels of the outer covering to become dilated and inflamed. This results in a headache.
The type of migraine varies from person to person. Most people don’t experience the aura before their headache. Those that do are experiencing what is known as a Classic Migraine. Whether you experience an aura or not, many people have sensations or premonitions before the headache actually occurs.
These symptoms may include: elation or intense levels of energy, craving for sweets, drowsiness, irritability, depression or thirst.
Migraine headache triggers
There are a number of things that may trigger a migraine:
• Hormonal changes. The exact mechanism between headaches and hormones is not fully understood. Changes in estrogens and progesterone seem to cause migraine in a number of women. Women who have a history of migraines report there occurrence right before or after their periods. Those women who take contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy often report migraines.
• Foods. Many people develop headaches after eating certain food. The most common food causes include: alcohol, especially red wine; aged cheeses; chocolate; fermented, pickled or marinated foods; aspartame; caffeine; monosodium glutamates; certain seasonings; and many canned and processed foods.
• Stress. Stress is often cited as a major contributor to migraines. Whether it occurs at home or work, the body can react to stress with a headache.
• Sensory stimulus. Bright or flashing lights and glaring sun can causes headache pain. Certain smells such as perfume and flowers, and unpleasant odours, such as paint thinner and cigarette smoke.
• Physical factors. Heavy manual work or exercise can set off a headache. Also, changes in sleep habits including too much or too little sleep can trigger a headache.
• Changes in the environment. Changes in the weather, such as rain storms or changes in altitude, such as going to the mountains, can result in a headache. A change of weather, season, altitude level, barometric pressure or time zone can prompt a migraine headache.
• Medications. Certain medications can aggravate migraines – Neuromuscular migraine dentistry is a more permanent option
All of these factors can contribute to the occurrence of a migraine headache.
But the biggest factor is a poor bite relationship.
When the upper and lower jaw are not aligned properly, it results in the muscles being in a constant state of contraction.
These muscles cause the jaws to come together 2000-3000 times every day during chewing and swallowing.
After a while, the muscles get tired and go into spasm. There is a build-up of lactic acid and other waste metabolites due to increased blood pressure in the muscles, which prevents normal blood flow. This is the primary cause of migraines which can often be relieved through neuromuscular migraine dentistry.
Call our office today to schedule an appointment. Call (704) 285-1180
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1315 East Blvd, Suite # 260
Charlotte, NC 28226