June is National Headache Month
Headaches are one of the most common reasons people see physicians, and Headache Awareness Month is the perfect time to learn about the two main types of headaches (tension and migraine), and the lesser known cause, orofacial disorders.
A tension-type headache (TTH) is the most common and causes mild to moderate non-pulsating pain felt on both sides of the head or neck. A TTH can last from 30 minutes to several days and is not usually aggravated by routine physical activity. A migraine headache causes moderate to severe pulsating pain felt on one or both sides of the head. This type of headache is aggravated by activity, and is usually accompanied by either nausea and/or light and sound sensitivity.
The TMJ is the delicate ball joint of your jaw; it is what allows your jaw to open and close and move from side to side. The human jaw exerts enormous amounts of force, and any kind of change to the way that it moves can cause imbalances over time that often result in chronic pain not only in the jaw, but also in the network of nerves that run through the neck, face, and head.
A common problem among headache sufferers is the overuse of pain medication. Whether prescribed by a doctor or over-the-counter, using medication too frequently (two or three days a week) can lead to withdrawal or rebound headaches. Pain medications may initially dull the pain, but over time, the body becomes immune to the dosing, and thus requires an increase in medication. This is obviously a vicious, dangerous, and addictive cycle, and does NOT solve the cause of the problem. The best solution for headaches is prevention. Prevention is safer, more convenient, and beneficial to overall health.
In the coming weeks, we will talk about a comprehensive system that helps our dentists treat many different orofacial disorders including: headaches, migraines, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), vertigo, and TMJ Disorder, by balancing forces of the head and neck. Advanced Dentistry by Design, bringing overall health to you and your family.