San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA
There are certain health situations where you know your dentist is the best qualified medical professional to help. These situations include a cavity, a cracked tooth, or really any issue related to your teeth and mouth. However, did you know that your dentist also can help with your headaches? Find out on our blog today how expert San Francisco dentists at Glen Park Dental can help you get headache relief.
When should I see my dentist about headaches?
We all get a headache from time to time, but frequently occurring headaches are a sign that something is wrong. If you’re experiencing headaches on a regular basis, especially first thing in the morning, then there could be a dental issue contributing to these headaches.
What dental issues cause headaches?
- Cavities – If you’re experiencing a toothache due to decay, this can affect the musculature of the mouth. Clenching these muscles can compress the muscles in the neck, shoulders, and jaw, triggering a cascading effect that may include headaches.
- Infection – An infected tooth, such as a dental abscess, likewise can cause pain that radiates to other locations. If you’re dealing with tooth decay or a dental injury that has developed a full infection and reached the nerve, this can trigger extreme impulses of pain that you may feel in other parts of your head: the forehead, the temples, or behind the eyes. These three areas also can be the sources of the pain you feel during a headache.
- Bite misalignment – Poor alignment of the teeth or jaw can cause a variety of issues, including headaches. A bite problem may stem from emerging wisdom teeth that threaten to be impacted, issues with old dental work, an orthodontic problem, tooth damage, or living with missing permanent teeth. Any issue with your bite forces your jaws to work harder anytime you chew food.
- Tooth grinding – Also known as bruxism, this habit affects millions of Americans, many of whom never realize they’re grinding their teeth because they do so while sleeping. Bruxism can cause jaw soreness, as well as frequent headaches. These headaches feel like a dull pain and may be accompanied by dental pain that appears to migrate to different locations in the mouth with no apparent rhyme or reason.
- Sleep apnea – Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious and well-known sleep breathing disorder that occurs when the airway becomes blocked, impeding, or totally interrupting your ability to breathe. In addition to leaving you fatigued and depriving you of the restoration that occurs during deep sleep, sleep apnea can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including headaches.
- TMJ disorder – Temporomandibular joint disorder refers to any issue where the temporomandibular joint (which connects the jaw to the skull on either side of your head) enters a state of dysfunction. The symptoms of TMJ disorder can vary widely from person to person, but patients with TMJ disorder usually experience pain of some sort—including chronic, painful headaches. These headaches occur because the temporomandibular joint resides close to the trigeminal nerve, a crucial neural pathway for transmitting sensory information to the brain. When TMJ disorder develops, the trigeminal nerve often becomes aggravated or compressed, sending pain impulses to the brain that trigger a headache.
Headache Relief in San Francisco
A bad headache can ruin your day and make it difficult to function. If you’re experiencing these headaches often, this can have a major debilitating effect on your life. Stop living with this pain. Let the experts at Glen Park Dental help. Schedule a consultation today by calling (415) 585-1500 if you live in the areas of Marin, Oakland, and San Francisco in California.