Headaches & Jawache
Headaches involve mild to severe pain in one or more parts of the head, including the back of the head. There are mainly 2 categories of headaches:
- Tension Headache (most common)
- Migraine Headache
Tension Headache :
People who suffer from tension headache say that they feel a tight band or "vice-grip" on the head. The pain is usually dull and covers the whole head. It is thought that Tension Headaches are caused by:
- Bad posture
- Staying in one position for too long
- Working in an awkward position for too long
- Clenching one's Jaw
- Tobacco or Alcohol use
- In Woman, it may be due to Hormonal changes
The pharmaceutical route of "over the counter" medication such as Aspirin, Paracetomol or Ibuprofen is obvious.
It is better if you can identify the things that trigger your headache, and you may need to make lifestyle changes such as:
- Getting enough Sleep, doing plenty of Exercise, and stretching the back and neck muscles.
- Diet. Are you eating properly?
- Work. is it too stressful? How can you reduce the stress?
If your Tension Headache is recurrent and not responding to simple remedies, you need to consult with your Doctor.
This is the cause of 20% of all headaches.
Migraine is usually experienced as a throbbing pain on one side of the head with an associated feeling of nausea and light sensitivity. The pain often lasts several hours, or even all day.
Causes are similar to Tension Headaches but there may often be a Family History.
- Any sudden severe headache accompanied by feelings of nausea or vomiting, should be brought to the attention of your Doctor.
- If all medical causes have been exhausted, a patient should consider a visit to their Dentist. If you clench or grind your teeth you may have a problem with your Bite. Once addressed and your bite corrected, the Migraines often reduce in frequency and dissipate.
What treatment can a Dentist do to alleviate headaches?
- For patients who are "clenching" or "grinding", a very simple appliance can be given for night-time use called an "NTI- appliance". This is a plastic appliance covering the upper front teeth.
- Myofunctional Exercises: These are special exercises which help to relax the Jaw and neck muscles, thus alleviating the symptoms. We are the only Practice in the country currently addressing, modifying, and correcting bad oral habits using Myofunctional Therapy.
- Bite Adjustment: Sometimes the bite is not in Balance and selective tooth adjustment is required.
- Orthodontics: If the Upper and Lower jaw are not sitting comfortably within the T.M.J joint, changing the position or relationship of the Jaws is necessary. This is referred to as Functional Jaw Orthopaedics (F.J.O)