What do your teeth have to do with headaches? It would seem that the answer is nothing at all. However, if you have a teeth grinding habit, it could be the source of frequent headaches and even migraines. But how does teeth grinding have anything to do with headaches? To find out, read the information below from your Rochester MN dentist, Dr. Calcagno.
Teeth Grinding and Headaches
When you grind your teeth, the teeth are not the only victims. The jaw joints, also called the temporomandibular joints or TMJs, also come under serious strain. Unfortunately, even though the TMJs are two of the most active joints in the body—they are used for speaking, eating, drinking, and breathing—they are somewhat delicate and do not respond well to strain. When they are stressed, a debilitating condition known as a TMJ disorder can develop. Among the symptoms of TMJ disorders are frequent headaches, migraines, facial pain, earaches, and jaw pain. But just what is it that links a disorder in the jaw to headaches and migraines? The answer is a major nerve called the trigeminal nerve.
The Trigeminal Nerve
The trigeminal nerve innervates the majority of the face and neck. Therefore, stress on the jaws can manifest itself in many different ways in any of the locations served by the trigeminal nerve. It is easy to see, then, why headaches can result from strain in the jaw, especially considering how the nerves serve to connect much greater distances in the body.
Treating TMJ Disorders
Treatment for TMJ disorders can vary based on the cause of the disorder. Oftentimes an oral splint is used to relieve strain on the TMJs. With less stress on these joints the symptoms will diminish and eventually cease altogether.
Schedule a Visit with Your Rochester MN Dentist
Do you have frequent headaches? Do you suspect a TMJ disorder? If so, contact your Rochester MN dentist, Dr. Calcagno, today at (507) 281-3659 to schedule an appointment or a consultation. We look forward to treating patients from Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, and surrounding communities.