When people suffer from headaches they usually figure it’s because they’ve had a stressful day, or it’s tension, or worry, etc. In most cases, your first thought is not your teeth. According to research about 80 percent of headaches are due to muscle tension. Again, stress, a bad day at work, worry, these are the things that cause muscle tension, right? However, muscle tension can be caused by dental stress. It’s true. Your teeth can be a headache.
What Is Muscle Tension?
Muscle tension is caused by muscle strain or contracted muscles. Contracted muscles are muscles held tight for long periods of time. You are probably familiar with an achy neck and shoulders from holding yourself tense at work or during times of worry. That is muscle tension, but tension can also be caused by your bite.
What Causes Dental Headaches?
Dental headaches can be caused by a variety of things such as clenching and grinding your teeth (bruxism), and other things including:
A misaligned bite: If your teeth are poorly aligned or you’re missing teeth, this can cause a misaligned bite. When your bite is not properly aligned the muscles in your jaw need to work harder to chew and swallow. This causes constant strain, or muscle tension which can lead to headaches.
Muscle Imbalance: Muscle imbalance stems from an improper bite. When your bite is smooth and stable all the muscles work evenly, but when certain muscles are required to work harder the result is a muscle imbalance. The overworked muscles become tense and shortened, leaving the other muscles around your head and neck to compensate which can lead to headaches.
What to do?
If you brux or feel you have a misaligned bite that is causing your headaches, discuss it with your dentist. Together you can develop a treatment plan to correct your bite and rid you of your dental headaches.
ABOUT YOUR BEE CAVE, TX, DENTIST:
Patrick M. Jaeckle, DDS, offers families in the Austin/Central Texas area the latest in comprehensive dental care. To improve the health and function of your smile, we provide preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, as well as migraine and headache relief. To schedule an appointment, call our Austin office at (512) 912-7543, or our Bee Cave location at (512) 402-1955.