Those suffering with frequent headaches and migraines are often surprised to know that their cause may be related to orthodontic and dental conditions such as malocclusions and TMJ dysfunction. A malocclusion simply means that a patient’s upper and lower teeth do not align properly when the mouth is closed or in a resting position. Fortunately, correcting a malocclusion is as easy as visiting your orthodontist for orthodontic treatment such as braces.
An aligned, healthy occlusion means that a patient’s bite (the top and bottom sets of teeth) should rest on top of one another when the mouth is closed. A malocclusion can contribute to facial pain and headaches. Because the mouth rests at an improper position, the poor alignment of the top and bottom sets of teeth strain facial muscles and ligaments—especially surrounding the temporomandibular joint, which connects the jawbone to the cranium. If left untreated by an orthodontist, this condition can worsen and produce noticeable discomfort and debilitating headaches.
In addition to producing facial pain and headaches, a malocclusion ultimately damages teeth. When a patient’s bite is misaligned, the teeth scrape against one another unnecessarily leading to wear and tear on biting surfaces with creating cracks in tooth enamel, the protective barrier around teeth that helps prevent decay. Many patients may begin to clench their mouth unknowingly in an attempt to force their mouth to rest in a better position. Clenching contributes to straining the facial muscles and joints and leads to discomfort. Due to reoccurring pain and headaches, some patients may develop a dangerous habit of grinding their teeth, also known as bruxism. This habit also affects dental health by creating unnecessary force and pressure on teeth.
To determine if you have a malocclusion and if this condition is the cause of facial pain and headaches, consider consulting with an orthodontist. At your appointment, our orthodontist will closely evaluate your bite and the alignment of your teeth. Upon the results of your examination, our team will develop a treatment plan that is right for you.
Contact Bunn Orthodontic Group today at 210-921-9191 to reserve an appointment.