Misaligned bite can cause jaw pain and headaches
Improper occlusion, or misaligned bite, and stress can contribute to jaw pain and headaches by creating tiny knots in the muscles of the head, neck and jaw. Called trigger points, these knots interact with nerves to induce pain, often in sites at some distance from the knots themselves. Such “referred pain” can be both agonizing and difficult to treat, since the problem areas are not necessarily where the pain is being felt.
Trigger points are an insidious cause of suffering in many patients. Referred pain can be frustrating and confusing for people, because it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of the pain.
How do you know if your pain is referred pain from trigger points? While many resources exist for self-diagnosis and treatment, and an increasing number of massage therapists are trained to treat referred trigger point pain, when it comes to pain of the head, neck and jaw, your dentist is your first line of defense.
Studies at the University of Minnesota TMJ and Facial Pain Clinic showed that trigger points are a common source of pain in more than 50 percent of patients, as reported by Oral Health Group (TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint of the jaw bone). Repetitive and/or traumatizing motions, such as jaw clenching or grinding, are a possible cause. Professional evaluation of your bite is the first step toward relief, and your dentist can discuss the best treatment plan for you, which may include orthodontic correction of your bite.
Relief for headaches and jaw pain is possible. Contact us today to learn more.