Headaches are a common nervous system disorder. Almost everyone has a headache at some point in their lives. For about 15 percent of the adult population, the condition is severe, and chronic for 18 percent. Women are twice as prone to headaches as men are. If you live with this type of pain, relief could begin with a visit to Dr. Stanley Levenson in Worcester, MA for headache treatment.
A headache feels like a pain in the brain. Yet pain comes from special receptors in nerve endings. The brain does not have these pain receptors. Rather, one of the brain’s jobs is to tell you when other parts of your body are hurting.
So, what causes the throb, ache, or pressure in your head? Muscles, blood vessels, and nerves all over your neck and head . . . including your mouth! When nerves are over-stimulated, or something puts pressure on them, they send a flood of messages to the brain saying that there is a problem. The resulting headache is a natural defense mechanism to help you identify and eliminate a potential threat to the body.
Nerves may react as blood vessels or swell or constrict. This can be triggered by even a small imbalance in the musculoskeletal system of the head and neck, or other oral problem. Dental issues linked to headaches and migraines include:
Poor sleep quality.
Bruxism - nighttime clenching and grinding.
Ill-fitting dental restorations or dentures.
Broken or missing teeth.
Malocclusion - misalignment in the relationship of upper and lower jaws.
The trigeminal nerve cluster originates at each temple with sensory organs extending to the jaw joints, ears, and all over the face and head. When dental problems affect the trigeminal nerve, referred pain may be far-reaching.
In Dr. Levenson’s care, headache treatment starts with a comprehensive examination of your teeth, mouth, and bite. You can expect the doctor to ask questions about your lifestyle, as well as the symptoms and frequency of headaches you experience. He is not prying - this discussion provides vital insight to unravel underlying causes of your discomfort. Using advanced diagnostic technologies, he develops a clear picture of your oral condition as it relates to headaches and imbalances affecting your comfort from head to toe.
Dr. Levenson develops a treatment plan customized to your condition. He starts with the least invasive technique, progressing through options until you find relief. Here are some of the procedures he may recommend:
Urgent dental treatment - Addressing trauma, deep cavities, and gum disease is a priority in restoring your oral condition.
Dental repairs - Teeth or old dental work showing wear or damage should be dealt with promptly. Dentures may be re-lined or replaced to improve fit.
Home therapy - Soothing cool and warm compresses, anti-inflammatory medications, and gentle mouth exercises to ease discomfort.
Lifestyle adjustments - Simple modifications to your daily routine - chair height, phone posture, computer usage, gum chewing - can make a big difference.
Stress management - A tremendous amount of tension is harbored in our jaws. The doctor will talk with you about drug-free techniques such as exercise, yoga, and meditation help to dissipate stress naturally.
Bite adjustment - Precise alterations in tooth height and shape can bring the bite into better alignment, relieving strain on temporomandibular joints. This may also involve replacing missing teeth with dental implants or bridges.
Orthodontics - Straight teeth look great and contribute dramatically to oral comfort.
Night guard - Wear this custom-fit mouthguard at night to give jaw joints a rest and cushion bruxism force.
Oral appliance therapy - Chronic headaches (especially in the morning) are a common side effect of obstructive sleep apnea. A discreet oral appliance, worn at night, can help you get the rest you need to wake feeling refreshed.
Treatment for headaches doesn’t have to mean brain-dulling pain medications. Once you realize that most headaches originate in the mouth, it makes great sense to address the source of the pain instead of just masking symptoms. Dr. Levenson can help, with compassionate dental care. Call Levenson Smile at (855) 849-8255 to schedule an appointment.