Your boss wants to talk to you. You think you know what he’s going to say, but you still follow him into his office.
He needs to you work some overtime to help finish a project. You say fine, but you aren’t really happy about it. Why is your head starting to hurt?
Not again, you think. These headaches are getting worse every week it seems.
The stress at work has been a little higher than usual, but you are waking up with headaches a lot, too. You’ve tried all the over-the-counter pain relievers, but they don’t seem to do much to help.
It may be time to call the dentist. If you live in or near Billings, MT, you should call Legacy Smiles.
Why You Should Treat Your Headaches
If you have frequent headaches, especially migraines, then you know how disruptive they can be.
It’s hard to sit down under the fluorescent lights at your desk. It’s hard to look at a computer screen, and going outside when the sun is out can become unbearable.
A few times your headaches have even caused you to feel nauseous, only most of the time you don’t vomit.
Even everyday sounds can seem intolerable when you have a bad headache. You’ve tried turning off the radio on the way home from work, but you can still hear the sounds of the other cars.
You know that your family wants to spend time with you when you are at home. When you have a headache, you just want to lie down in your bedroom with the light off to get away from everything and everyone.
How Are Frequent Headaches A Dental Problem?
Headaches happen for a lot of reasons, but one of those causes is bruxism. This is clenching or grinding your teeth.
You may not be aware of when or how often you do it. Many people do it subconsciously in their sleep, in response to stress, or both.
This would explain why your head starts to hurt shortly after your boss asks you to take on one more project, when you get stuck in traffic when you are already running late, and when you and your spouse or significant other have an argument.
It also could explain why you wake up with frequent headaches. If you are grinding your teeth together for hours overnight, you will feel it in the morning.
How Can A Dentist Help?
Bruxism may be the underlying cause of a TMJ disorder or TMD. TMJ is short for temporomandibular joint. This is a ball-and-socket joint that connects your jaw to your skull.
This joint allows you to open and close your mouth and to move it from side-to-side when you eat or speak. When you clench or grind your teeth, you are putting extra pressure on your TMJ and on the muscles and tendons that connect to this joint.
This pressure affects people in a variety of ways.
It can leave your jaw feeling sore or tender.
It can cause your jaw to become stuck or limit how wide you can open (or close) your mouth.
It can cause pain in your face, neck, and shoulders.
It can cause earaches.
And, it can cause frequent headaches.
If you come to our office, we will check for signs of teeth grinding and clenching, such as wear and tear on your teeth.
To treat your bruxism, your TMJ disorder, and your headaches, we can create an occlusal splint. It’s a type of mouthguard that you can wear during the day or while you sleep.
This mouthguard does two important things.
First, it keeps your top and bottom teeth separated. If your top and bottom teeth can’t touch, then you can’t grind them into one another.
Second, the mouthguard changes the position of your jaw. This holds your jaw in a more relaxed position. As you become more comfortable wearing your mouthguard, your jaw will adjust, relieving the tension on your TMJ and the surrounding muscles and tendons.
This will make your headaches less common.
End Your Headaches
Now, we can’t promise that a mouthguard will take away every headache you may have, but you should notice that you are having fewer headaches. You also may notice that your headaches become less severe.
We see patients regularly who have TMJ and bruxism problems, and we provide them with treatment to feel better, right here in our dentist office in Billings, MT.
To get help, call Legacy Smiles at (406) 794-3114 or use our online form to schedule an appointment.