Does your headache include pain behind the eyes, sore jaw muscles, teeth grinding, clicking or popping of jaw joints, a sensitive head or scalp that’s painful to the touch, earaches or ringing in the ears, neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain or dizziness?
A recent study by the U.S. Army Medical Department found that one in eight Americans suffer from headaches. It is common for headache sufferers to find relief in the dentist chair.
“There are several sources of head pain that are treated by the dentist,” explains Beverly Hills Dentist Kourosh Maddahi. “If a person’s upper and lower jaw do not correctly meet, this can result in muscle tension that leads to headaches. Another dental-related cause of headache is the grinding or clenching of the teeth at night called bruxism. Because of the strain caused by heavy chewing or grinding, certain bones and muscles in the jaw are greatly stimulated and triggers headache.”
It is important, whenever in pain, to increase your calcium and magnesium intake. Together they are a natural relaxant for the muscles. You can use a special fitted nightguard to reduce clenching and grinding. Aside from bruxism, another headache-related dental problem is known as temporomandibular disorder (TMD or also referred to as TMJ) cycle of pain, muscle spasms, and joint imbalance that involves the jaw and the skull and results in interruption of bones, cartilage and muscle activity. Such symptoms may relate to the bite and therefore can successfully be treated by a dentist who has special education in managing these disorders.
Over 10 percent of the general population suffers from recurring headaches that are so severe they cannot carry out normal living! An estimated 80% of all headaches occur from muscle tension. Approximately 40% of all “healthy” individuals suffer from chronic headaches.
Head pain is not new. Early civilizations relied on magical potions and spells to cure headaches. In severe cases, holes were drilled in the skulls of headache sufferers so that the evil spirits which were believed to be the cause of the pain could escape. Over the years we have learned much about what causes headaches and how to treat them. Today, there is a growing realization that a common cause of tension headaches is a bad bite.
“If you suspect that your headaches might be caused by your bite,” says Dr. Maddahi, “contact your dentist. Your dentist will examine your teeth, your muscles, and your jaw joints to determine if dental stress is the source of your headaches. If so, treatment will involve correcting your bite so that the muscles can function without extra strain and tension. The important aim of correcting your bite is to insure optimal long-term health. If you have any of the symptoms mentioned, discuss them with your dentist. Your health is your most priceless possession.”
Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist, Dr. Kourosh Maddahi, has been specializing in creating beautiful, natural smiles for 20 years and can be found on the world wide web at www.DrMaddahi.com. He is located in Beverly Hills at 436 N. Roxbury Drive, Suite 202 and can be reached at 310-888-7797. He can be contacted via email at info@DrMaddahi.com.