Kingsport Dentist Blog

Why Your Dentist May Have a Solution to Your Headache

Headache Solutions at Your Dentist

Many individuals struggle every day with chronic headaches. However, there is a multitude of individuals who don’t know their dentist could find a solution to these constant headaches. 

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Headaches from TMJ Disorders

Temporomandibular joint syndrome is extremely common and can cause different levels of pain in muscles and the temporomandibular joint, resulting in chronic headaches. The temporomandibular joint attaches the mandible and temporal bone together. Because there are many muscles connected to the lower jaw, pain caused by TMJ can come from many different movements and actions. Person with Headache

What causes TMJ?

There are many different factors that play into TMJ disorders, making each individual’s situation unique. If you’re experiencing pain in your jaw,  can help you find treatments and solutions for TMJ. 


Anxiety and stress are leading factors of jaw pain and TMJ. Stress is something that almost every individual deals with. While our bodies are able to maintain a certain level of stress, long-lasting stress and anxiety can lead to many different health issues. Stress can cause TMJ pain through physical symptoms like:

  • Teeth grinding

  • Muscle tension

  • Tooth pain


Another common way for individuals to develop TMJ pain is through arthritis. There are different types of arthritis that can affect any and every joint in your body, including the jaw. The most common types of arthritis linked to TMJ are:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Spondyloarthropathies


Though not as common as other causes, severe injuries to the jaw area can result in the development of TMJ disorders. Whether it is routine or something new, It’s important to take safety precautions in the activities you participate in. A few common injuries resulting in TMJ pain have been caused by:

  • Sports injuries

  • Auto accident injuries

  • Direct hit to the face

What are common TMJ pain treatments?

If you are experiencing constant headaches and jaw pain, it might be a good idea to visit your dentist for professional help. Oftentimes, dentists are more qualified to help treat a jaw issue than other providers because they can examine the alignment of your teeth and jaw with X-rays, helping you find a solution to discomfort or pain. 

TherapyPerson in Therapy

One way to help relieve the pain from TMJ disorders is through different types of therapy. If your TMJ pain is related to stress and anxiety, your dentist may recommend visiting a mental health doctor or counselor. This will help you better understand the factors behind your stress and anxiety, making it easier to deal with the pain. On the other hand, if you are experiencing pain due to physical factors, your dentist may recommend physical therapy for your situation. Physical therapy can oftentimes be done on your own, making the entire process easier for many individuals.


One simple way to help relieve pain caused by less-severe TMJ disorders is medication. Whether your dentist recommends over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription medication for specific situations, medication is a common way to treat TMJ. 

TMJ Surgery

When serious cases of TMJ disorders arise, your dentist may suggest undergoing surgery in order to fix the issue and prevent more health issues from forming in the future. If you’re symptoms begin to affect chewing, opening your mouth, and other critical functions, surgery may be the solution for you. Be sure to talk to your dentist to learn which type of surgery could best help you. 


Headaches from Infected Teeth

A dental abscess is a common way to develop jaw pain and headaches. Dental abscesses are caused by a pocket of pus forming from a bacterial infection near the tooth’s root. The problem may begin with the simple formation of a cavity. Though cavities are fairly common, it’s important to note that untreated cavities can cause serious issues down the road. A dental abscess will cause individuals to feel pain in their jaw and neck, leading to headaches. 

Infected Teeth Treatments

With various causes behind an infected tooth, dentists offer a wide variety of ways to treat the problem. Based on each individual situation, your dentist will probably recommend a personalized treatment for your dental abscess. 

Root CanalPerson in Pain

Performing a root canal will consist of drilling into an infected tooth, draining the pus, and removing infected tissue. After draining and removing, your dentist will “fill and seal” the pulp chamber. This procedure can help save your infected tooth from possible extraction in the future. 


As mentioned above, a dental abscess is a pocket of puss at the root of your tooth. One form of treatment is to simply drain out the pus from the abscess. Once your dentist has drained the abscess, the area will be properly cleaned, and you’ll be on your way. 


Some individuals experience the spread of infection and pain from the abscessed tooth. In this situation, dentists can prescribe or recommend antibiotics in order to help relieve the pain and stop the spreading of infection. 


For serious cases of dental abscesses, the tooth may not be able to be saved from extraction. In this scenario, your dentist may recommend getting the tooth pulled in order to prevent more damage from occurring in the future. 


Headaches from Misaligned Teeth

Malocclusions are the misalignment of teeth which can cause severe headaches as well as other serious medical conditions. Many individuals experience malocclusions due to a multitude of factors. However, dentists can help treat this issue with several options. 

What causes Malocclusions?

Whether it is through genetics or environmental factors, there are many different ways for individuals to develop misaligned teeth. Malocclusions are extremely common in people of all different ages. Therefore, many things over the course of life can result in the misalignment of your teeth and cause chronic headaches. 

Childhood Environment

Childhood is a critical time for the formation and development of our bodies, including teeth. It’s important for current and future parents to know the dangers behind common childhood habits that can lead to issues such as misaligned teeth. An extended amount of time doing the following can result in malocclusions:

  • Thumb sucking

  • Bottle feeding

  • Use of a pacifier


Injuries to the mouth or jaw area can also result in misaligned teeth. This is commonly seen in athletes who are injured during sporting events, which is why dentists highly recommend using safety equipment during sports including mouthguards and helmets. 


For some individuals, genetics could play a role in the formation of their misaligned teeth and jaw. It’s extremely common for individuals to suffer from malocclusions from genetics and family dental history.

Treatments for Malocclusions

Malocclusions are fairly common in many individuals. Dentists are able to examine and recommend different solutions based on the situation of each patient. A few common treatments for malocclusions include:

  • Braces

  • Surgery

  • Extraction

  • Bonding


How Bateman DDS Can Help Your Headaches

If you are experiencing severe and/or constant headaches, the team at Bateman Dentistry is more than happy to help find the right solution for you. We are passionate about treating and caring for our patients in the best way possible. 

Contact us today for dental concerns and questions or schedule an appointment to visit us.


Dr. Jake Bateman | Kingsport DentistThis content was reviewed by Dr. Jake Bateman of Bateman Dentistry. Dr. Jake Bateman is a Kingsport native who is passionate about serving his patients. Throughout college and his work experience, Dr. Bateman has received many awards and honors for his outstanding work and performance in the industry, including Academy of General Dentistry Senior Student Award, UT Advanced Prosthodontic Program, and more. Learn more about Dr. Bateman’s awards, experience, and hobbies here.

Posted by Jake Bateman at 1:30 PM
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