What Your Headache Might Be Telling You
Occasionally, braces may cause minor headaches, though your orthodontist can help you treat these minor temporary issues. However, you may experience frequent headaches caused by a variety of dental and jaw conditions. When you are first getting used to braces, the pressure of tightening braces in order to move them gradually to their desired position may result in headaches. More importantly though, braces may alleviate headaches too! Your headache may actually be warning you of a dental problem – the only way to know for sure is to check with a dentist or orthodontist.
There are several dental issues that strain the jaw and muscles and cause chronic headaches; in these instances, orthodontics are successful in alleviating headaches and migraines. Orthodontics may also help reduce the frequency of headaches caused by the following conditions:
- Malocclusion – misalignment of the teeth and jaw or “poor bite” – including overbite and underbite. Braces are highly effective in treating this condition as well as the headaches caused by it.
- Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) – disorder of improper jaw movement caused by alignment issues, clenching, or teeth grinding, which affect the temporomandibular (or jaw movement) joint, placing stress on the neck and facial muscles, causing headaches. Orthodontics can help the alignment and jaw muscle issues resulting in fewer headaches.
If you are affected by either of the dental issues above, your orthodontist can help you find relief. Additionally, if you experience headaches beyond pressure from getting your braces tightened during an orthodontic visit, ask your orthodontist for recommendations. If headaches continue after orthodontic treatment is complete it may be necessary to see a general physician for treatment.