Your dentist might not be the first person you consider visiting when you suffer from chronic headaches. After at-home remedies and over-the-counter medications fail to keep your headaches at bay, many people consider seeing their doctors to see if there’s something more serious to worry about. However, for many people, the source of their chronic headaches can be traced to an oral health issue, such as TMJ disorder, bruxism, or obstructive sleep apnea. The only way to find relief from such headaches is to visit your dentist for a thorough examination and appropriate treatment.
When your jaws hurt, too
TMJs, or temporomandibular joints, are the joints that your lower jaw, or mandible, hinges on. They’re located just in front of each ear, and as you open and close your jaw, the joints move together in the same motion. TMJ disorder is a jaw dysfunction that occurs when these two joints can’t move together, often because one or both are damaged, inflamed, out of alignment, overstressed, or otherwise compromised. Chronic jaw pain is a common symptom of TMJ disorder. Also, because your jaw joints are close to your head’s dominant nerve group (the trigeminal nerves), you may experience increasingly worse headaches and migraines.
When your teeth are also wearing down
Aside from your TMJs, your bite function can also become a headache if you suffer from bruxism, or chronic teeth-grinding. Bruxism can be the result of TMJ disorder, or it may be a precursor to it, but when left unchecked, it can also lead to a host of other symptoms. For example, constantly grinding your teeth together can wear your teeth down significantly, making them increasingly more sensitive over time. The pressure can also cause you to experience chronic headaches and migraines, which will grow worse along with the sensitivity in your teeth the longer you wait to seek treatment.
When you’re constantly tired, as well
Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, can also be a source of headaches and migraines for patients who experience it. Sleep apnea involves repeated interruptions to your breathing while you sleep, which disturbs your sleep cycle and makes it impossible to achieve the restful sleep you need. This can cause a wide range of symptoms that can significantly impact your quality of life, including chronic daytime fatigue, declining memory and cognitive function, and increasingly more frequent headaches and migraines.
Ask your dentist about chronic headache relief
After a comprehensive examination, we can help you determine if an oral health issue is the cause of your chronic headaches, then design an appropriate treatment to alleviate them. For more information, schedule a visit by calling Syosset Dental in Syosset, NY, today at 516-433-2211 or 516-921-6930.