Many people who battle severe migraines, headaches and other types of facial pain don’t think about going to the dentist for help. But, in reality, a dentist just may be the right person to turn to for treatment — especially if your primary care physician can’t determine the root cause for your pain.
Before I can be sure I am the right proper person to turn to, it’s important that you categorize your headache into a primary or secondary category.
Primary headaches are migraines, tension headaches and cluster headaches. I do see patients with primary headache problems, but it’s the for the secondary type of headache that I can be particularly effective in treating.
So, How Can A Dentist Cure Headaches?
Secondary headaches can be caused by many things, but in particular trauma to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) in the jaw. A traumatized TMJ can be the result of injury, a structural deficiency, a malocclusion (bad bite), newly placed or worn dental work, oral disease, or sleep bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching at night).
Many dentists today, like myself, are trained in assessing and treating these kinds of pain problems (called orofacial pain) — and treating them successfully.
Teeth Grinding Also a Concern
If you clench or grind your teeth at night, you are not alone. Millions of Americans do it. So, how does sleep bruxism often cause such severe headaches? Here’s how: the constant pressure is being exerted by the act of clenching and grinding your teeth can result in trauma to your TMJ. Next, the nerves become agitated and then comes the pain. But what’s tricky is that this pain from the TMJ can show up in other places on your body, such as your neck, your face, or even your head. This is called referred pain. Your TM joints are positioned very close to your cranial nerves, and severe headaches are often the result.
Do All the Pieces Fit into Place?
If yes, find a dentist who is trained in treating orofacial pain problems. Here at Pasadena Pain Management, we will not only be able to determine the source of your pain, but will put a treatment plan in place that include massage, sports medicine and relaxation techniques — even a night-guard to protect your teeth.
I’ve been treating patients with this very same problem for many years, and in most cases, with a change in lifestyle to reduce bruxism combined with treatment, the outcomes are very positive.
About Pasadena Pain Management
Pasadena Pain Management offers pain management treatment for TMJ/TMD, migraine, headaches and neck pain in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.