When a person suffers from severe headaches or migraines, their first choice for pain relief isn’t often a trip to the dentist. However, dental professionals are often critical resources for diagnosing and treating chronic headaches and migraines.
Many recurring and chronic pains in the head, neck, jaw, and face begin in the mouth and the craniofacial region of the body.
Pressure or constant pain in a person’s temples often originates in excessive teeth grinding, clenches, or a misalignment, for example. Symptoms such as frequent headaches, migraines, head/neck pain, or clicking and popping sounds when you open or close your mouth are signs of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) and should be addressed by a dentist immediately.
If left untreated, symptoms stemming from TMD can lead to jaw joint problems and near-constant headaches. An oral examination with X-ray imagery may be required to diagnose and treat short and long-term problems due to TMD.
In addition, your dentist may prescribe medications, stretches, and changes in diet to softer foods to reduce the stress on your jaw. In most cases, surgery is not necessary unless all other treatments have failed.
Most commonly, your dentist may recommend use of a mouthguard or nightguard while sleeping to help improve your sleep and prevent your teeth from grinding during the night. Modern nightguards are custom-molded for comfort and can dramatically reduce pressure on the jaw to help reduce pain during waking hours.
Do you have questions about how a dental professional may be able to help prevent headaches and migraines through non-invasive treatments? Contact the offices of Don Sing DDS in Seattle today to schedule an appointment or oral examination.