Daily headaches since braces

by Sydney
(USA )

Daily headaches since braces were fitted can be called iatrogenic disease; doctor-caused.

I got braces two years ago to fix my teeth alignment. That being said, my jaw is misaligned.

I can't remember exactly when they started, but I have had daily constant headaches for at least those 2 years. What do I do?

Hello Sydney,
Headaches may be loosely divided into an irritation, clinically significant and very serious; placing yourself into that may be difficult. The amount of medication your are taking gives a clue.

I'm very concerned when patients are taking more than 15 painkillers a week, especially if taking two different analgesics; simply because it's gone on for two years means it's certainly not just an irritation.

I'm assuming you've seen your medical doctor and he's concluded it's most likely not in the very serious bracket; you don't have a brain tumour, or very high blood pressure.

Place your fingers just in front of the tragus of the ears and gently open and close your mouth until you can feel the jaw joints opening and closing. Is one particularly tender? Are there popping sounds? Rub the muscles on the side of your face and the temporalis on the side of the head. Sore? If you can, introduce your index finger from the opposite side, pulp facing outwards, between the cheek and the upper molars into the ptyerygoid pocket. Is the muscle in there very tender? Extremely? Does the pain radiate into your head?

Now press on your upper neck and prod about; is it sore?

I hope this gives you a few indications in which direction to turn. You've spoken to the orthodontist, I presume. What does he say?

The next, if you think it's coming from your jaw joints is to find a chiropractor who specialises in TMJ; you'll have to do some homework.

Otherwise every chiropractor works with cervicogenic headaches - from your neck.

Let me know how you get on.

Dr B

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