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If Your Head Hurts, it could be more than Just a Headache—It Could be Dental

Dental Headache Los Angeles

Could that nagging headache and painful jaw be tied to your oral health? If you suffer from headaches, Dr. Louie, West Hollywood dentist, urges you to consult his office for further diagnosis because headaches might be related to your oral health. Pain is centered in the nerves and muscles running throughout the face and neck, as well as poor habits that they discomfort may cause, can trap sufferers in a painful loop, with head pain triggering jaw and neck pain, and vice versa.

The average person swallows 2,000 times per day, which causes the upper and lower teeth to come together and push against the skull. If you have a poorly aligned bite or missing teeth, you may suffer from frequent headaches or sleep disorders because your jaw muscles must work harder to bring your teeth together, which then strains the surrounding jaw muscles. Often, headaches experienced in the morning can be associated with temporomandibular joint disorders, which are disorders that are associated with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

Individuals suffering from TMJ disorders often experience jaw and facial pain, a misaligned bite and a jaw that locks upon opening it. Severe head and neck pain are also some of the most common and debilitating symptoms. A visit to your medical doctor may bring you temporary relief, but your problem may actually be something that Dr. Louie, your LA dentist,can diagnose and heal completely.

Common Symptoms of TMJ Disorders include:

Trauma to your jaw or jaw joint can sometimes play a role in TMD, but in many cases the cause of the disorder is unknown. It is suggested that certain tasks, whether mental or physical, may cause or aggravate TMD, such as stressful situations or teeth grinding. Most discomfort is caused from the overuse of the muscles, specifically clenching or grinding of the teeth, otherwise known as bruxism. These habits exhausted the jaw muscles and lead to discomfort, such as headaches or neck pain.

Temporomandibular disorders come in varying degrees of severity. In many cases, people suffering from TMJ disorder report chronic pain in the jaw, face, head, ears, neck, or shoulders, or any combination of these areas. Other common symptoms include:

  • Limited ability to open the mouth very wide
  • Clicking or popping sounds in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth
  • Difficulty chewing or an uncomfortable bite
  • Snoring, grinding of teeth, frequent ear infections and/or a restricted airway
  • Swelling on the side of the face

Treatment for TMJ Pain

Because TMJ is most commonly the result of a misaligned bite, which places stress on joints and muscles, Dr. Louie, dentist in Los Angeles, will first identify and correct the unstable bite so that the teeth, joints, and muscles are all aligned. Using precise instruments to first relax your jaw muscles, Dr. Louie can determine the correct bite that provides the healthiest, most relaxed state of the muscles, eliminating the tension, which causes pain.

TMJ mouth guards may also be an option for treating TMJ—soft, plastic protectors that slip over the upper and lower teeth to prevent grinding. Mouth guards make it difficult to clench the jaws, a leading cause of TMJ pain. Dr. Shervin Louie may also recommend routine jaw exercises to ease the clenching or grinding that is contributing to the stress on the lower jaw.

If you are suffering from chronic headaches and/or a painful neck, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shervin Louie, the best dentist in Los Angeles, who is trained to handle and promote complete healing for TMJ disorder.