Headaches , Migranes

Headaches have become endemic in our culture. You can look in any women’s magazine or health publication  and you will see at least one article devoted to headaches. The purpose of this  blog article is to help the reader understand more about the different types of headaches and explain  why so many people fall victim to an incorrect diagnosis, and wind up taking drugs, unnecessarily.  Also learn how many people who had suffered with disabling headaches have been treated non-surgically and without drugs to attain a quality of life they had previously thought impossible.

Sinus headaches which may be seasonal, caused by allergies, are typically located in the forehead and to either side of the nose . Infections, blockages and even growths may be the cause and an xray or CT scan will be needed and reviewed by an ENT specialist to decide the course of treatment.

Tension-type headaches may be the result of stress or fatigue, but they can be attributed to physical problems, psychological issues, or depression. Women are affected  more than men, usually  between the ages of 20 to 40. They can be either chronic or episodic in nature. Tension headaches are characterized by a continuous, but not throbbing, pain in the forehead, temples, and/or the back of the head or neck and shoulders. These headaches may last for hours or even days. It can feel like a tightening around your head or neck with only certain positions  providing some relief. Tension headaches may also be caused by clenching of the teeth.

There are several types of migraine headaches , and every person will experience theirs in a different way. However, there are some basic features. They usually are vascular and may begin as a dull ache, and then progress into a constant, throbbing and pulsating pain at the temples, as well as the front or back of one side of the head. The pain is usually accompanied by nausea and vomiting, and sensitivity to light and noise. Most migraine sufferers experience two to four headaches per month, but some people get one every few days, while others may only have one or two a year. Most migraine headaches last at least four hours, although very severe ones can last up to a week. They may begin at any time of the day or night, but a migraine will rarely awaken a person from sleep.

Millions of Americans  suffer from TMJ dysfunction (TMD ) headaches , many of these go incorrectly diagnosed . The majority are seen in women usually ranging from 20-50 years old.  TMD is misdiagnosed by many physicians because of a lack of training in most medical schools.  Most physicians feel that this is the domain of dentistry. Some of these are caused by clenching or grinding of the teeth or as a mechanism to help open the patients airway in regard to sleep apnea.   Many dentists are also poorly trained in occlusion and how to treat the problems related to poor occlusion , missing teeth and changes in the height of the bite. Many types of headaches related to TMD are misdiagnosed and patients may be treated for years with no resolution.

Dr. Shiffman  and his Boynton Laser Dental staff have been using low level laser therapy successfully for many years to treat tension headaches,  Acute TMD and muscular trigger point issues without the use of medication or injections .  Not every situation is treatable in this manor, but it is the least invasive and most natural way to begin therapy and in many cases is enough to get patients comfortable, and headache free.  Replacing missing or damaged teeth and correcting the bite with crowns and bridges or implants may be necessary after a level of comfort is obtained . Many patients have a collapsed or incorrect bite that causes their head and neck muscles to be in poor relationships and result in a “head forward” posture .  Missing posterior teeth or a collapsed bite can be treated to regain correct and comfortable head and neck posture .

We have many options available for our patients when it comes to treating headaches , a complete , thorough examination is the first step.  Contact Dr. Shiffman to see how we can help make your day to day life more comfortable. We want to be your Boynton Beach dentist for all your dental needs. headache

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