If you are constantly finding yourself with head or neck pain, particularly chronic migraines, you are not alone. Our Morrison Dental Group team in Midlothian, Virginia have successfully treated patients with chronic migraines to find relief. Our dentists, Dr. Terence Webber and Dr. Shweta Ujaoney can personalize your treatment using neurology, dentistry, and physical therapy to ease your migraine pain.
Migraines can be caused by grinding your teeth unconsciously when you are awake but also as you sleep. This clenching of the jaw and facial muscles puts stress on these areas so you might end up with painful headaches that can interfere with normal daily function. Chronic pain often results in depression and resulting in missed work, school, and time with loved ones. Chronic migraines often stress relationships with family and friends.
Migraine relief may include limiting caffeine and drinking more water. Hydration is key, so avoid diuretics and excess salt in your diet, and don’t skip meals. For migraine sufferers, strong smells, loud noises, and bright lights can all trigger pain.
For patients who have dental issues causing their migraines, there is help. For those clenching their teeth from stress, our dentist might advise wearing a custom mouth guard. This bite guard, which is often worn at night, can be popped over your teeth so you won’t grind your teeth together in your sleep. The device holds your jaw in proper position to relieve excess pressure.
How does this work?
Your jaw has two temporomandibular joints (TMJs) which connect each side of your jaw to your skull. This is how you can open and close your mouth when you yawn, eat or speak. With migraine pain, the pain begins in these joints (or the surrounding muscles) which then spread to your skull. When our dentists address issues with TMJ, you will likely discover that your headaches get better.
By evaluating your jaw/muscles along with your teeth, we can determine what is the cause of your chronic pain. If the cause is related to bruxism (grinding and clenching the teeth), the mouthguard should help as you sleep. As long as you wear a custom mouth guard, your teeth will be protected and your tooth and tooth enamel will stay strong.
How do you know if you are having issues with your TMJs?
- You have tooth sensitivity.
- You have broken, chipped, or loose teeth.
- Your jaw hurts, feels tight or tired.
- You have earaches even though there’s nothing wrong with your ears.
- You have tenderness or pain in your face and jaw.
- You have pain and soreness when you chew gum.
- You have issues with your bite lining up correctly.
If there’s a problem with your tooth alignment, or bite, then you might benefit from occlusal or TMJ Splints. If stress is causing you to grind your teeth, adding meditation or exercise can help you manage ongoing stress better. Other simple measures that can help include:
- Chewing only your food, not your fingernails, the inside of your mouth, or gnawing on pens/pencils.
- Avoid taking big bites out of your food, by cutting it up into more manageable segments.
- Don’t eat hard, crunchy foods that can stress the jaw.
- Constant gum chewing is stressful on the jaw, so it’s best avoided.
These little changes can all work together to lessen stress on your jaw and help relieve migraine issues. If you would like an evaluation for your migraines by one of our dentists, we are here to help. By customizing a treatment plan around your needs, we can get you on track to better oral health and well-being. To schedule a consultation, please give us a call at 804-639-7500 today.