Headaches come in many forms and in different degrees. Every day, more is learned about what causes them and how they can be prevented. Hormones, abnormal growths, abnormal signals from the brain, syndromes, and muscle function are just some of the causes. Usually, treatment and prevention of headaches requires a team of health professionals including physicians, physical therapists, psychologists, and even dentists.
Some dentists are trained in treating jaw joint problems, some are trained in treating headaches, and some choose not to treat these ailments in their particular practices for one reason or another. However, if you suffer from headaches and have been treated unsuccessfully by physicians who have ruled out any medical problems, you might consider discussing it with your dentist. He or she may be able to help you or refer you to someone who could.
Since many headaches are caused by long-term spasming of some of the jaw and neck muscles, some types of “nightguards”, or bite splints, may be used to help provide relief. Essentially, these variations of acrylic platforms provide a stable place for the jaws to close against which does not allow the jaw muscles to contract to their maximum force.
It has been estimated that approximately 80% of people clench and/or grind their teeth during sleep, and many of these people develop “tension headaches” related to it.