Treating Headaches in San Francisco
Whether your headache is caused by stress, or if it came out of nowhere, you might find yourself thinking when will the pain stop? If you feel like you’re always trying to combat a headache in San Francisco, it is important to understand that your headache might be more than just the common ache.
Instead, your headaches might have a dental cause, such as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Below you can find a few ways to reduce your risk of developing a headache, and what treatment might be available to help you find relief from your pain.
Keep an Eye on These Risk Factors
To help alleviate your headache it is important to reduce the number of risk factors present in your life. Some common causal factors might include:
- Supporting your bite
- Improving sleeping habits
- Avoiding certain smells
- Drinking less or eliminating alcohol use
- Increasing exercise and losing weight
- Controlling teeth grinding
- Avoiding yeast and preservatives in food
- Improving posture
San Francisco TMJ and Sleep Specialist Dr. Larson and his team at San Francisco Center for TMJ and Sleep Apnea maintain the ability to successfully treat your ailments so you can eliminate headaches and migraines for pain-free days.
Headache Treatment Options San Francisco
During the initial examination of your headache at San Francisco Center for TMJ and Sleep Apnea, we will complete a thorough oral exam to determine if there is evidence of clenching or grinding (also known as “bruxing”), or TMD. If any of these are evident, there are things we can recommend for immediate and long-term relief.
Sometimes eating softer foods for a few days can even be just what you need to reduce stress on the muscles and joints. Ice and/or moist heat can also help relieve soreness and inflammation, while the following options might help as well:
- Stretching exercises
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
- Muscle relaxants
If the above options don’t provide relief for your headache pain, we might recommend a custom-made nightguard for when you sleep. This plastic oral appliance fits over the teeth, and can control or even eliminate clenching and grinding. As a result, pressure on the muscles that work the jaw and the jaw joint itself will be reduced. With the use of an oral appliance, patients have reported their headaches or even migraines have become less frequent and/or less intense.
Trigger Point Injections San Francisco
Another option for relieving headache or TMD pain are trigger point injections. Trigger points are areas in muscle that are very irritable, and show a band of tightness in the area of muscle itself. When pressed, trigger points produce a twitch within the affected muscle. A trigger point may not only produce pain in the affected muscle, but in a distant area as well, such as the head and neck.
Trigger point injections typically utilize a local anesthetic injected into the painful muscle to provide relief. The pain relief should be experienced within the affected muscle, as well as the area of referred pain. Treatment with trigger point injections is safe and comfortable.
Will a custom orthotic or other TMD therapy relieve your headaches? It depends on the source of the problem, but living with chronic headaches or facial pain is not something you should have to live with. From practicing preventive measures to managing contributing factors, such as teeth grinding and a bad bite, our team at San Francisco Center for TMJ and Sleep Apnea can help you find relief.