Millions of Americans develop headaches every single day, and often, the underlying cause is believed to be stress or low blood-sugar. However, an often overlooked source of head pain is crooked teeth. Fortunately, for many people, this means that by straightening their teeth, they can find the lasting relief they deserve. How does this work? Could braces or Invisalign put a stop to your chronic headaches? An orthodontist in Newark explains this phenomenon in today’s blog.
“The Head Bone is Connected to the…”
You don’t need to have a medical degree to see that your mouth is directly connected to your head, and the link between the lower jaw and the rest of the skull is called the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ. If you move your mouth side to side, you’ll likely feel its hinges right in front of your ears. It is one of the most complicated joints in the body, capable of a wide range of motion, and it’s essential to your ability to eat and speak.
When the teeth are crooked, this can cause the upper and lower rows to not come together correctly. The bite force is unevenly distributed, and this puts a strain on the muscles and nerves of the TMJ. Eventually, these muscles tire and become sore, and this pain can easily spread upward and manifest as a headache. Today, bite and TMJ issues are two of the most underdiagnosed causes of migraines. They are often overlooked because most doctors won’t examine the mouth and teeth when a patient comes in complaining of a head problem!
How Orthodontics Can Help
If you develop headaches more than one day a week or suffer from severe migraines that prevent you from doing anything productive, you should definitely see a doctor. Medication can often help manage the pain, but if it doesn’t completely go away and keeps coming back, it might be time to schedule an appointment with an orthodontist.
Orthodontists are specially trained to examine the teeth and bite to see how they relate to the orientation of the TMJ. If there is a misalignment between these elements due to crooked teeth, and the patient is dealing with headaches, then this is often the underlying cause.
Using braces or Invisalign, the orthodontist can fix the crowding, which will evenly distribute the bite force so that it is evenly spaced out across both dental arches. As a result, the TMJ muscles are able to work properly and relax, which stops the chain reaction that results in headaches.
Find Relief Today
It may sound strange to visit an orthodontist if you’re dealing with headaches, but this approach has already helped countless patients find the long-term relief they desire. Better yet, once orthodontic treatment is complete, the results last for a lifetime, plus you’ll get a more attractive smile in the process!
About the Author
Dr. Jeffrey Shirck is a board-certified, award-winning orthodontist based in Newark. As part of his practice, he has helped several patients discover the source of their headaches and provided treatment to make them go and stay away using both braces and Invisalign. To see whether or not your teeth are the reason for your headaches, you can schedule a FREE consultation today by clicking here.