Orofacial pain is a complex area of medicine with disorders overlapping many specialties. To ensure the highest level of care, it sometimes requires working with Dr. Geare in addition to your neurologist, orthopedist, oral surgeon, or physical therapist.
Orofacial pain involves the chewing (masticatory) muscles or temporomandibular (TMD) joint. Problems can include joint discomfort, muscle spasms, migraines, frequent headaches and pain associated with the teeth, face or jaw.
Signs that may indicate your headache is related to something dental include:
- Pain behind the eyes
- Sore jaw muscles upon waking
- Teeth grinding
- Clicking or popping jaw joints
- Head and/or scalp is painful to the touch
- Earaches or ringing
- Neck, shoulder or back pain
- Sleep disorders such as snoring or sleep apnea
You may get relief from orofacial pain with the help of an orthotic, or splint, that is worn over your teeth until the bite can be stabilized. Other ways to alleviate the pain include:
- Placing an ice pack on the painful area for 10 minutes, three or four times per day.
- Eating softer foods and cut food into smaller pieces.
- Keeping upper and lower teeth slightly apart except when chewing or swallowing.
- Sleeping on your back.
- Not resting your hand on your chin. When talking on the phone, don’t rest the receiver on your shoulder.
Correcting your bite will ensure your overall oral health, and proper care will help reduce or eliminate orofacial pain.