Bite-Sized Pain: Are Your Teeth Causing Your Migraines?

Migraines can really take their toll on your wellbeing, but if you’re like most migraine sufferers, you may not even realise it. You may mistake the pain to be nothing more than a harsh headache, and so you may run the risk of not getting the right treatment to provide the fastest release.

The national migraine association MAGNUM, which is dedicated to improving the quality of life of migraine and head pain sufferers, estimates that 60% of women and 70% of men with migraine have never been diagnosed. And even if you know your wellness is affected by migraines, you may not know the cause. This is according to the International Centre for Nutritional Research, who note that a bad bite is “one factor often overlooked” as a cause of your migraine pain.

Dr Mark Duncan, clinical director of the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, explains that migraines often go misdiagnosed in women because they are often asked by their GP if the headaches are related to their hormone cycle. As there’s a week in which you can attribute many wellness concerns to being “due on”, another where you’re actually menstruating, and a third in which you can think “well, I’ve only just finished…”, that’s a huge chunk of your cycle that you may wrongly attribute migraine pain to your hormones. This means that your Doctor, in turn, mistakenly diagnoses your headache pain as hormone-related migraines, when in reality you have bite-related muscle cramps in your temples, or malocclusion.

You can tell if you have malocclusion by biting your teeth together. Ideally, only about 1mm of your lower teeth should disappear behind your front teeth when you bite down, so if more than the tip of your lower front teeth is covered, your bite could be the culprit for your pain. This is because your jaw is forced backwards in relation to your head, which causes muscle strain. Also, you may be at risk of malocclusion if your dentist has talked to your about toothbrush abrasion. Luckily, there is an answer to this dental problem; calming and supporting those muscles so that the pain disappears. Consult a neuromuscular dentist, as he or she will be trained to look at all the muscles that support your bite.

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