Relationship Between Headache And Dental Occlusion

A headache is defined as a pain in the head or upper neck. It is one of the most common locations of pain in the body and has many causes.

How are headaches classified?

Headaches have numerous causes, and in 2007 the International Headache Society agreed upon an updated classification system for headache. Because so many people suffer from headaches and because treatment sometimes is difficult, it is hoped that the new classification system will allow health care practitioners come to a specific diagnosis as to the type of headache and to provide better and more effective treatment.

There are three major categories of headaches: Primary headaches,  Secondary headaches, and  Cranial neuralgias, facial pain, and other headaches   If you have a headache, quite often the first port of call is the medicine cabinet for pain relief or a visit to the Doctors. However, if the problem persists it might be something you should mention to your dentist as the persistent cause may lie inside your mouth.

The cause of your headaches could actually be the way your teeth meet when your jaws bite together, otherwise known as dental occlusion. Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) disorder is a neuromuscular jaw condition caused by an imbalanced bite. When the joint causes pressure to be put on the nerves muscles and blood vessels that pass near the head, the result can be headaches and migraines, a condition that affects one in seven people in the UK.

Many people have imperfect dental occlusion yet never show symptoms as they adjust to their problem. For those who do suffer, teeth and gums may be affected straight away, and instead of headaches you may encounter broken teeth, fillings, loose teeth and toothache with no apparent cause. If you have any of these problems, visit a dentist immediately.   Depending on the problems you are having, it can be possible to spot the signs of dental malocclusion. Your dentist may be able to help you or may refer you to a specialist who deals with occlusal problems. Your teeth may need to be carefully adjusted to meet evenly, as changing the direction and position of the slopes that guide your teeth together can often help reposition the jaw. If your teeth are too far out of line or in a totally incorrect bite position, it may be necessary to fit a brace to move them into a better position.

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