It doesn’t matter if your headache is caused by stress or if it came out of nowhere, you might feel like you are always combatting a headache. When this is the case, it is important to understand that your headache might be more than just the common headache. Instead, it might have a dental cause, such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Here are some ways to reduce your risk of a headache and what headache treatment option might be available to help you find the relief you are looking for:
Risk Factors to Keep an Eye On
To help alleviate your headache it is important to reduce the number of risk factors present in your life. Some common causal factors might include:
- Supporting your bite
- Improving sleeping habits
- Avoiding certain smells
- Drinking less or eliminating alcohol use
- Increasing exercise and losing weight
- Controlling teeth grinding
- Avoiding yeast and preservatives in food
- Improving posture
From practicing preventive measures to managing contributing factors, such as teeth grinding and a bad bite, Dr. Pira Sadeghi of TMJ & Sleep Apnea Help Center maintains the ability to successfully treat your ailments so you can eliminate headaches and migraines for pain-free days.
Headache Treatment Options
The first thing we need to do is give you a thorough oral exam to determine if there is evidence of a clenching or grinding (also known as “bruxing”) habit or TMD. If so, there are things we can recommend for immediate and long-term relief. Sometimes eating softer foods for a few days can reduce stress on the muscles and joints. Ice and/or moist heat can help relieve soreness and inflammation. Gentle stretching exercises, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, and muscle relaxants can also provide relief.
Finally, we may recommend that you wear a custom-made nightguard when you sleep. This plastic oral appliance, which fits over the teeth, can control or even eliminate clenching and grinding, reducing pressure on the muscles that work the jaw and the jaw joint itself. Some users have reported that their headaches or even migraines are less frequent and/or less intense.
Will a custom nightguard or other TMD therapy relieve your headaches? It depends on the source of the problem. But living with chronic headaches or facial pain is no fun.