Have you been suffering from headaches, neck aches and jaw aches for years? Feeling the pressure of constant tension headaches? Are you waking with tension or pain and feeling tired?
The solutions to these problems could be as simple as a visit to our Sydney dentists.
Dentists and physicians see many patients suffering from various types of chronic pain including tension headaches and neck aches. Studies have shown that a common factor in migraine and tension headaches and neck aches may be chronic clenching or grinding.
It is now recognised that in 70% of cases clenching or grinding is related to “sleep disordered breathing“, which covers a whole range of conditions during sleep, that means when you are asleep your airway is constricted or blocked and you are not getting enough oxygen, your body is not recovering as it should.
If this is the case then the use of a simple dental orthotic may provide patients with an effective, non–drug treatment of their pain, and improve their general health.
Contact us today to find out more!
Headaches and neck aches occur when there is tear or damage to a muscle, tendon, ligament or the attachment of those structures to the bone. These are called “soft tissue lesions”.What is the problem?
These “lesions” activate the nerves that cause pain (called nociceptors). This chronic pain can also activate the autonomic nervous system (involuntary part of our nervous system), causing disturbances to vision, balance, sinuses, digestion and many others seemingly unrelated symptoms. Soft tissue lesions are caused by some sort of trauma that may have occurred many years ago which may be either a
If you clench or grind your teeth, your jaw muscles tighten together with muscles at the back of the neck. This tension will prevent those neck muscles from relaxing and the soft tissue lesions from healing. This connection between jaw and neck muscles is often overlooked as a factor when considering tension headaches and neck aches.
Common pain patterns for tension headaches (marked in red) and common sites of soft tissue lesions (marked with x above) associated with this jaw/neck relationship are outlined above.
Assessing sleep quality and airway is central to the analysis of the jaw and neck relationship.
People clench or grind their teeth for 3 reasons:
Considering the state of the muscles and joints and understanding their impact on the nervous system, both voluntary (peripheral nervous system) and involuntary (autonomic nervous system).
The importance and impact of your sleep. Assessing how best to support the jaw at night, to minimise the harmful effect of clenching and grinding on the muscles of the head and neck, and also to help maintain an open airway at night and have a restful, refreshing night’s sleep.
The way the upper and lower teeth fit together (occlusion) and the functioning of the jaw joints (temporomandibular joints, TMJ). The significance of clicking and popping of the jaw joint, together with an assessment of the ability to move the jaw comfortably.
The impact of postural stresses, which may prevent the soft tissue lesions from healing. Looking particularly at sleeping posture, spine, leg length differences, head forward posturing and unstable ankle joints in consultation with other health practitioners.
The importance of optimal nutrition and sustainable exercise in achieving an environment within your body that is conducive to healing, optimal energy and being pain–free. Poor nutrition and lack of exercise causes the body to become more acidic effecting metabolism, the balance of calcium in the body and chronic inflammation. The balance of proteins, correct fats and carbohydrates is essential in optimising this.
Like the NTI with the additional ability to support the lower jaw at night, reducing clicking of the jaw joints and maintaining your airway.
Supports the jaw joints during the day ,when clicking of the jaw joints and restriction of jaw movement is a problem.
The objective of our treatment in general and the orthotic appliances in particular, is: