Headaches are, unfortunately, a part of life. They are caused by a number of things, which include:
Improper muscle function
When you think of treating a headache, most people picture going to the doctor or stopping by the drug store and getting some medicine. But did you know that your dentist can actually help you treat them and offer some relief?
Yes, your dentist!
A lot of people experience headaches because of neck or jaw muscle spasms, or from clenching or grinding their teeth. If your dentist finds that this is the cause of your headaches, special mouth guards can be made for you to wear during the night. These mouth guards offer your jaw an area to rest against, which will keep your muscles from spasming.
It has been found that about 70% of individuals grind their teeth or clench their jaw, so if you experience frequent headaches your dentist will be able to offer you some relief.
If you have visited your primary care physician for headaches but still experience them, a visit to the dentist may be able to find things your doctor could not.
Do you experience frequent headaches?
If so, schedule an appointment with Dr. Aerni in Strongsville, OH to see if teeth grinding or clenching is the reason for your discomfort.
Strongsville Dentist: Teeth Grinding
Dr. William Aerni- The Strongsville Dentist
Bruxism is the dental term for teeth grinding and jaw clenching. This is a medical health problem as well as a dental health problem because it can lead to uncontrollable contractions of the jaw muscles, popping or clicking of the joint found in the lower jaw, swelling of the lower jaw, damaged teeth, and headaches. If teeth grinding and jaw clenching continue, it will erode tooth enamel and damage dental work, leading to tooth decay.
There are a few ways to reduce and avoid teeth grinding and jaw clenching:
- Do not chew on anything that is not food (pens, pencils, etc.)
- Decrease gum chewing
- Reduce the consumption foods and drinks that contain caffeine
- Avoid alcohol consumption
- Drink more water
- Improve dietary habits
- Work to relax the jaw while awake to encourage a relaxed jaw while sleeping
- Reduce Stress levels
- Get plenty of sleep
Bruxism is a commonly overlooked disorder that is usually caused by something that is not right within the body. It is obvious from the list above that stress and an unhealthy lifestyle are the main causes of teeth grinding and jaw clenching. Depression, anxiety, eating disorders and insomnia also encourage grinding, but may require further treatment. By following the tips above and adopting an all around healthier lifestyle, bruxism and its effects can be reduced over time.
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