It is believed that around 40% of normally healthy people suffer from chronic headaches. Early civilisations relied on magic potions and spells to cure headaches. In severe cases, holes were even drilled in people’s skulls to remove the evil demon thought to be trapped inside causing the headaches. Thankfully over the years there has been many advances in treatment and medical practices. However, one factor still often overlooked as a cause of headaches is an incorrect bite.
How can your bite cause a headache?
If your bite is not correct, your muscles may become overworked. Muscles that are held tight for long periods of time, will begin to ache. A tension headache may be on one or both sides of your head, or it may surround your head as if a steel band were wrapped around it.
Some signs that your headaches may be dental in origin are:
- Pain behind the eyes
- Sore jaw muscles or tired muscles on waking
- Teeth grinding
- Clicking or popping jaw joints
- Head and/or scalp painful to the touch
Every time that you swallow, your upper and lower teeth must come together to brace the jaw against the skull. Over the course of 24 hours we swallow over 2000 times and if your bite is unstable then the muscles have to work harder to bring your teeth together. Your jaw muscles never get a rest and so when they become overworked, they become strained and will be painful.
If you suspect that your headaches are caused by your bite, you should book an appointment to see the dentist. Your dentist will examine your teeth, muscles and jaw joints to determine if your bite is causing your headaches. If so, treatment will involve helping to correct your bite. This may be achieved through relaxation techniques, a soft food diet, bite guards or for a permeant solution teeth straightening and teeth replacement.