IF YOU SUFFER FROM FREQUENT HEADACHES, YOU’RE NOT ALONE —
Fequent migraines affect 3% of Americans, and painful tension headaches affect over 20% of people worldwide.For example, even if your headache can be controlled with over-the-counter pain medication, the fact that it always comes back means it might be attributable to other causes. Dr. Savitha Siddappa of Thousand Oaks, CA is experienced at recognizing and treating headaches that originate from these conditions and can identify and treat possible causes of recurrent headaches.
Different types of headaches include:
- Migraine is a type of primary headache, usually accompanied by a throbbing or pulsing pain in one side of the head.
- moderate to severe in intensity
- Migraines headaches are often accompanied by nausea or vomiting, and/or sensitivity to light and sound and are made worse by physical activity
- A few migraine sufferers may also experience visual disturbances
- Migraines usually last from 4 to 72 hours
- Tension headaches are the most common type of headache, making up over 90% of all headaches
- Mild to moderate in intensity
- Severe chronic tension type headaches are often misdiagnosed as migraine headaches
- Tension-type headaches often manifest as a feeling of intense pressure or tightness in a band that wraps from the forehead to the back of the head and sometimes the neck, with some moderate pain on the sides of the head
- These headaches last from a few hours to several days
Medication Overuse Headache
- Medication overuse headaches result from daily use of medication for chronic headaches, and usually occur in the morning
- The headaches may subside when more medication is taken, but return immediately as soon as it wears off
- Cluster headaches are rare, and include intense pain around the eye, as well as occasional redness and tearing
- Lasts from 30 minutes to 3 hours
- Occur at the same time of day or night
There is no single trigger. Some headache or migraine sufferers can pinpoint external factors that contribute to their head pain — it could be alcohol, caffeine, hormonal changes, stress, medications, certain foods, changes in routine or environment
Pain diary is very helpful in identifying the triggers
- The human bite can generate over 260 pounds of force at the molars, and unless this pressure is perfectly balanced it can throw the delicate balance of the jaw muscles, tendons, nerves, and ligaments into disarray.
- Any imbalances in the bite can cause nerve pain that manifests in the neck, face, or head, even if your jaw itself feels fine.
- Stress is an important factor — it frequently increases muscle tension in the jaw, which creates imbalances over time
- Other causes include:
- Any kind of physical trauma
- Dental work, orthodontics, wisdom teeth removal
- Temporomandibular disorders
- Grinding/clenching of the teeth
Headache & Migraine Management
- Preventative medications attempt to prevent migraines and headaches before they start—beta blockers, anti-seizure medication
- Abortive medications like triptans
- medications to treat head pain be limited to no more than twice a week to prevent side effects and reduce the medication overuse headaches
- Botox injections for chronic migraines
- Physical therapy
How Dr. Siddappa Can Help You
If you suffer from frequent headaches and have been writing them off as just ‘stress-related,’ visit Dr. Siddappa and she can help you get to the bottom of your pain. As an experienced dentist, she can identify the features of your unique dentition that may contribute to a dental condition and determine if your set of symptoms may be related. Dr. Siddappa through her thorough history, examination and other diagnostic tests which include bite analysis, range of motion analysis can help identify any underlying problems that may be causing your pain. She will also explain every step of the diagnostic process, so you understand how your symptoms correlate with the diagnosis.
Dr. Siddappa has a Master of Science in Orofacial pain and Oral Medicine and is a Diplomate of Americal Board of Orofacial Pain. Most of the times people don't think of dentists as source for seeking care for their headaches, but the truth is that we have many solutions available that may offer you relief!