Several years ago I decided to take a trip to the dentist after skipping multiple appointments for over 15 years. I truly had a dental anxiety and had a hard time getting over my fears. Thankfully, my dental visit went smoothly with only four cavities identified. What I did find from this dental visit was that there was a great deal of new information and technology that I had been missing out on. Laser-based technology and digital imaging are just a few examples. With this blog, I want you to understand that you can get over your fears and learn about this new technology like I did, so enjoy the information.
Do you suffer from migraine headaches? Have you taken measures to lower your stress, changed your diet, and learned how to avoid most sensory stimuli in order to thwart off those migraines, yet still find yourself overcome with frequent bouts of intense pain? If so, read on to learn how an orthodontist may be able to help.
Ideally, your molars should sit flush against each other and your top front teeth should rest ever-so-slightly in front of your front bottom teeth. Unfortunately, very few people are blessed with perfect teeth alignment. When the teeth aren't lined up perfectly, the condition is known as malocclusion. While most malocclusions are slight, don't pose any risks, and don't require treatment, others are severe and could lead to a variety of problems -- including migraine headaches.
How Malocclusions Cause Migraines
When your teeth aren't properly aligned, your jaw joints and masticatory muscles need to work a lot harder to perform ordinary tasks like chewing and speaking. Over time, your jaw joints can become strained and your jaw muscles can grow fatigued.
Worse yet, people with malocclusions tend to compensate for their crooked alignment by forcing their teeth into unnatural positions when they chew or speak, thus adding more strain on the jaw and worsening the problem. The constant state of stress a severe malocclusion creates can act as a trigger for migraine headaches.
Treatment Options For Malocclusions
In order to treat migraine headaches caused by a malocclusion, you must focus on correcting your bite alignment. There are several different reasons why your teeth may not be aligned properly, ranging from large or extra teeth overcrowding the mouth to irregular shaped teeth preventing a flush bite. In rare cases, malocclusions are the result of a birth defect in which the actual jaw bones are too large or not large enough to support the teeth. The severity of your malocclusion and its underlying cause will determine the correct course of treatment.
For those with overcrowded teeth, the problem may be as easy to fix as a simple tooth extraction. Freeing up a little space by removing a tooth will allow the remaining teeth to relax into their natural position, thus eliminating stress on the jaw. For malocclusion sufferers with a single irregularly-shaped tooth, that tooth can generally be reshaped with a special tool that grinds the enamel down.
People who have moderately severe malocclusions may need to wear a dental appliance designed to gradually correct their bite, such as braces or a temporary anchorage device (TAD). These devices can be removed once the desired teeth alignment is achieved.
Finally, those whose malocclusion is caused by a deformity of the jaw bones may need surgery to shave down the bones or stretch and strengthen them.
Knowing If You Have A Malocclusion
Just because you don't have an obvious overbite or under-bite doesn't mean that you don't have a malocclusion. In order to know for sure, you'll need to visit an orthodontist. Your orthodontist can monitor your bite with electromyography (EMG) imaging and a computerized motion sensor to determine the precise location your jaw should sit in order to achieve the least amount of joint and muscle strain. From there, you'll work with your orthodontist to design a treatment option that best suits your needs.
If you're suffering from migraine headaches and have had little success with common treatment methods, it's time to schedule an appointment with an orthodontist at a clinic like Crest Hill Family Dental. He or she can determine whether or not a malocclusion may be contributing to your headaches, and then perform measures to correct the alignment of your teeth if a malocclusion is present.Share
4 August 2015