Suffering From Constant Headaches?
Give Your Dentist a Call
Have you ever had a constant headache that you couldn’t seem to get rid of? And sometimes your jaw hurts, or perhaps even your ear? You’ve been to the GP; he can’t find anything wrong and the optician says you don’t need glasses, but the pain is still there, gnawing away at you every day. Did it ever cross your mind that the best person to go and speak to might actually be your dentist?
Stress Causes Bruxism Leading to Headaches
It’s interesting being a dentist. We often see the physical manifestations of environmental stress. Stressful times which affect a whole society we see as an increase in patients coming through our doors suffering from severe headaches, jaw pain and sleep disturbance. We’ve seen this in the past during major societal events like recessions, and we can see it now during this pandemic.
Grinding and clenching your teeth (Bruxism) often due to stress, is a very common cause of headaches, jaw pain and sleep disturbance. Fortunately it’s something that is relatively straightforward for your dentist to treat.
Bruxism and Jaw Pain: How Your Dentist Can Help
We heard from one of our patients recently who had been suffering from pain and jaw tension and it was affecting her sleep. Our dentist John took the time to listen to her problems and managed, to her delight, to solve her problem using a dental splint.
“I had been grinding my teeth for a number of years and asked CFDC about possible treatments to prevent further damage. John walked me through the available options, explaining the pros and cons of each. I opted to pay privately for a dental splint. The process of having moulds taken and splint fitted took a few weeks, but it was well worth the time and effort! I had experienced jaw tension and pain for a long time and this was completely gone after wearing the splint for a few nights. I am so glad I invested in the splint, it has made a significant difference to my sleep quality and, best of all, there is no more pain. I would highly recommend this to anyone experiencing similar issues.”
A Dentist Who Listens
I remember a patient who came into see me when I was a relatively green dentist. He was having severe headaches and pain in his jaw and I couldn’t work out what was going on. I asked my boss at the time to take a look. Before he would come through to see the patient he said to me, “Have you asked him about his life? Have you listened to him?” Confused, I answered, “Well I know what he watched on TV last night.” Rolling his eyes, he said to me, “But is he stressed?” Long story short I learnt not only how to make a dental splint that day but also how to really take the time and listen to my patients. The poor guy was working for a firm who were making cutbacks and he’d been worrying about being made redundant for the previous few months.
How to Fix Headaches Caused By Clenching and Grinding
If you’re clenching and grinding during the day try to become aware of it, and actively try to relax, drop your shoulders and move your top and bottom teeth apart.
Easier said than done, but try to relax. Meditation, exercise, a break from work and just taking some time out for yourself can sometimes be enough to get you out of the habit of clenching and grinding.
3.Talk to your Dentist about a Dental Splint
This can be hard or soft depending on your specific case and is worn at night to stop your teeth clenching and grinding. It doesn’t always need to be worn for evermore. I find if I’m going through a particularly stressful time and starting to get headaches, often just wearing my splint a few nights in a row can get me out of the habit and my headaches ease.
So, if you’ve been putting up with distracting headaches or jaw pain for a while, now might be the time to find the ear of a sympathetic dentist. At Coatbridge Family Dental Care we have four and they pride themselves in taking the time to listen to make sure they get the best solution for you. You can call our team on 01236 421103. We’re here to help.