Many people are probably suffering from headaches in Florence, SC. Can your headaches be caused by dental issues? If you’re having headaches first thing in the morning, in particular, it’s a good sign that fixing dental problems will fix the headaches. Dr. Brian Sang of Palmetto Smiles discusses headaches that are a result of dental issues and how to get rid of them.
What Can My Headaches Be Caused By?
Headaches are usually due to an underlying health issue. Dentists and doctors need to determine the underlying concern to get rid of the headaches. The following dental issues can often cause headaches:
- TMJ disorders
- Bruxism (teeth grinding/clenching)
- Sleep apnea
TMJ disorders are often caused by a jaw joint that doesn’t align properly or has been damaged. If the jaw isn’t working the way it’s supposed to, stress can build up in the facial muscles and jaw area. This can cause headaches as well as jaw and facial pain.
Bruxism is a habit many people have that they may not even realize. Typically happening during sleep, people clench and grind their teeth. This can lead to tension headaches, or even the development of a TMJ disorder if the grinding goes a long time and is intense enough.
Lastly, sleep apnea involves the blockage of your airway during sleep. This means that you aren’t getting the amount of oxygen that you should. Since your brain isn’t getting that oxygen, sufferers often wake up with headaches.
Getting Treatment for Headaches
To treat your headaches, Dr. Sang must perform a thorough examination of your mouth, jaw, airways, and other areas that could impact the diagnosis. He’ll want to know the details of your chronic pain, exactly where and when it happens, as well as what it feels like. With this information, he should be able to help you determine what the underlying cause is.
Most often, Dr. Sang will probably recommend oral appliance therapy. Different types of oral appliances can work for all three of these underlying conditions. For sleep apnea, the oral appliance keeps your mouth in a position that ensures your airway stays open while you sleep at night.
TMJ disorders and bruxism often have similar appliances. These look like mouthguards and prevent the teeth from clenching or grinding together while you sleep. These can also be worn during stressful situations if you find yourself grinding your teeth then too. TMJ appliances may also work to keep your jaw in the correct position.
Dr. Sang can also offer restorative and cosmetic options if these disorders have impacted the state of your teeth. Bruxism and TMJ disorders often lead to wear on teeth, or even chips and cracks. Solutions like dental veneers, dental bonding, or dental crowns can stop further damage to your teeth, as well as enhance their appearance.
Treating Headaches in Florence, South Carolina
At Palmetto Smiles, we want to help you get rid of your chronic headaches and pain. Call us today or schedule an appointment online to get started!