Do you suffer from chronic headaches? It may be caused by dental problems.
Bruxism, TMJ, and sleep apnea are all dental concerns that can cause headaches. Dr. Glen Wainwright treats chronic headaches in Austin, Texas. Oral appliance therapy is one of the most effective solutions in opening up the airways and keeping teeth from grinding together. Learn more about the dental causes of headaches as well as oral appliance therapy below:
Dental Causes of Headaches
Dr. Wainwright and the team of Austin Dental Care treat these common causes of chronic headaches.
Teeth clenching and grinding, also known as bruxism, can occur during sleep or when patients feel stressed. Bruxism adds tension to the jaw joint and muscle. Tooth wear, TMJ, and headaches are just some of the dental problems that can arise from untreated bruxism. The pressure that jaw-grinding causes create painful headaches in the facial and head muscles.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, is a condition that affects the alignment, function, and health of jaw muscles and joints. Patients with TMJ may also experience painful symptoms in the facial area because of bruxism or a misaligned jaw. Patients with a malfunctioning jaw joint may experience chronic headaches.
Patients who frequently snore or wake up in the middle of the night to breathe may have sleep apnea. This condition occurs when the airway becomes blocked while sleeping, due to the collapse of soft tissues in the mouth. Patients with sleep apnea commonly wake with headaches due to oxygen deprivation.
Treatment with Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliances act similarly to a mouthguard in that they keep teeth from touching. Oral appliances can be worn during the day or at night depending on the patient’s dental problem. This solution targets bruxism and TMJ by preventing teeth clenching and grinding. When worn at night, oral appliances keep the airway free so patients wake up feeling well-rested.
TMJ Headaches FAQs
How do you get rid of a headache from TMJ?
Most patients attempt to get rid of TMJ headaches by taking medication. These include aspirin (Excedrin), ibuprofen (Advil), and naproxen (Aleve). Another way to get rid of a TMJ headache is to ice your jaw.
Can TMJ cause headaches everyday?
Severe TMJ can cause headaches everyday, or multiple times a day. Patients often find that the side of their head that they have TMJ on has worse headaches.
Can TMJ affect your brain?
TMJ can affect your brain function. It causes chronic pain in your head, which can affect cognitive function. Some studies have shown that white matter in patients’ brains who have TMJ may undergo changes that people without TMJ do not have.
What does TMJ headache feel like?
A TMJ headache is commonly reported as an achy headache that is typically worse on one side (usually the side that the patient has TMJ on). Headaches from TMJ get worse as patients move their jaw.
Schedule a Dental Exam with our Dentist in Austin, TX
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Wainwright on our website. You may also call Austin Dental Care at 512-518-6392. Dr. Wainwright is a dentist in Austin, Texas that is dedicated to the highest quality of care possible.