Do you routinely wake up with headaches first thing in the morning?
Most patients do not consider headaches to be a dental health concern, however, chronic headaches can be a sign of a temporomandibular disorder (TMD), bruxism or sleep apnea, all dental concerns that can be addressed by your dentist. For patients experiencing headaches due to a dental or sleep condition, they may find little relief from over the counter pain-relief medications and become frustrated by routinely occurring headaches that can interfere with their daily life.
Dr. Srikureja or Dr. Patel will perform a thorough analysis of your oral health, jaw and bite alignment and consider your medical history to help determine the underlying cause of chronic headaches. Treating the root cause of recurring headaches help patients find long-term relief and can protect your smile from further damage.
TMD is often the result of an imbalance in the bite which puts a strain on the jaw joints causing painful symptoms. Patient with TMD experience muscle tension, jaw pain, popping and clicking of the jaw, headaches, and discomfort chewing or speaking.
Your Montclair dentist may recommend bite realignment using orthodontics, restorative dentistry or an oral sleep appliance to relieve added pressure on the jaw during sleep. Treatment will be tailored to the specific needs of the patient and may require a combination of restorative and oral sleep appliance therapy.
Headaches & Bruxism
Bruxism is the habit of grinding one’s teeth. Patients commonly grind their teeth in their sleep and have little awareness of the behavior. Grinding or clenching of the jaw while sleeping can allow bruxism to go undiagnosed for extended periods of time resulting in cracked, chipped or excessively worn teeth. Patients with bruxism often wake with painful headaches first thing in the morning due to many hours of teeth grinding during sleep. The repetitive overuse of the jaw joint and muscles can cause tension headaches and facial discomfort.
Patients who grind their teeth in their sleep may benefit from an oral sleep appliance. The custom-made device is similar to a mouthguard and fits securely over the upper and lower arch of teeth. The appliance is designed to hold the jaw in a comfortable alignment and prevents the jaw from grinding while the patient sleeps. Patients may also benefit from restorative dentistry such as dental veneers or implants to repair damage caused by years of teeth grinding.
Headaches & Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a medical condition that can affect your smile and overall wellness. Sleep apnea occurs when you the soft tissues in the mouth collapse, blocking the airway. The normal flow of oxygen is disrupted and patients are deprived of oxygen repeatedly throughout the night. The lack of oxygen can cause painful headaches that typically occur first thing after waking in the morning.
A patient who has sleep apnea should seek treatment as soon as possible. Oral sleep appliance therapy is discreet, comfortable and potentially life-saving. Dr. Patel and Dr. Srikureja offer sleep apnea treatment from the comfort of our Montclair, CA dentist office.