While headaches and neck pain can have many causes, one fairly common potential cause of debilitating headaches and neck pain can be crooked or improperly set teeth and jaw. Malocclusion (misalignment of the bite and jaw) may be a lesser though-of cause of neck pain and subsequent headaches, but in many cases correction of the issue can help greatly for sufferers of neck pain.
In a “perfect” mouth, the top and bottom dental arches and teeth are perfectly aligned with each other and work like gears with molars fitting together seamlessly. Unfortunately, this almost never happens naturally in a human mouth. For a range of reasons, our teeth tend to grow misaligned and crooked which can lead to problems with bite and speech, and place strain on the temporomandibular joints and muscles that control the jaw.
The strain on these joints and muscles is what can cause some severe neck pain, and resultant headaches. An orthodontist can address the issues of malocclusions in the mouth through the use of braces or retainers to retrain the teeth into an ideal position. In doing so, this may lead to less strain on the muscles and joints in the jaw and may alleviate neck pains and strains. Many adults with misaligned teeth may prefer the option of using Invisalign aligners over traditional braces to avoid the look of having metal brackets and elastics across the teeth.
If you experience unexplained neck pain, and subsequent headaches or migraines, it may prove to be beneficial to book an appointment with your dental office to check your mouth for misalignment and crooked teeth which could be contributing to the problem.
There are a couple of different types of invisible braces – which are typically designed for adults or older children who may want to straighten their teeth without the obvious look of traditional braces. Invisible braces are typically not used when baby teeth are still present in the mouth. There are generally three types of invisible braces: ceramic brackets, inside braces, and clear aligners.
Ceramic braces work the same way as traditional braces, but they use brackets made out of a material the same colour as the tooth rather than metal in order to camouflage the look of the braces. While ceramic braces stand out less than traditional braces, many people do find that they are not as invisible as they would prefer.
Inside braces, which are sometimes also called lingual braces or “iBraces” are placed behind the teeth rather than in front, so provide a great cosmetic alternative for those who do not want the look of traditional metal braces. Similar to traditional braces, lingual braces work by applying gentle yet continuous pressure on the teeth to encourage them to slowly shift into position. Inside braces do have some special requirements, as they are a bit more involved than regular braces. One of the biggest prohibitive factors with lingual braces is that they do tend to be quite a bit more costly, and they require strong technical expertise from the orthodontist.
Lastly, clear aligners are another type of invisible braces which are custom made for each individual. The aligners are almost entirely invisible and fit snuggle over the teeth – they are engineered to provide just the right amount of pressure to push the teeth into place. Aligners require determined cooperation to ensure they work properly, as the patient must adamantly wear the correct liners week after week, and they must be removed and cleaned between meals, and special events.
Though there are a few different types of invisible braces, they each work in their own way and they may or may not be best for your mouth. If you are thinking of getting invisible braces, talk to your orthodontist to evaluate what type would be best for you.
When you want to get your teeth straightened, there’s usually a nagging voice in the back of your head that already wants to know when the braces can come off. Braces are known to be a timely, and sometimes uncomfortable process, so a new school of thought has come about to combat the length of treatment. Accelerated orthodontics is a new method whose goal is to shorten the length of time needed to straighten the teeth. Some studied claim that accelerated orthodontics can reduce treatment time by between three and eight months.
Accelerated orthodontics require orthodontic devices (ie. Metal or ceramic braces, Invisalign, or lingual braces), and in some cases may also include a minor surgical procedure. The following are some of the currently used accelerated orthotics practices.
PROPEL System – this system follows the idea that creating a small amount of trauma to the mouth will stimulate bone growth, and aid in the braces moving the teeth more quickly. This means that before the braces are placed, an orthodontic surgeon shaves the gums and bones into a shape that allows the teeth to slide more easily into their desired positioning. Some research shows that this method can reduce treatment time by up to 50 percent.
AcceleDent – this system is similar to the PROPEL system but does not require the same amount of invasive surgery. Instead, it relies on a device that emits micro-pulses that encourage bone growth and help the teeth to move more quickly. The patient will wear a mouthpiece around the orthodontics and turns it on for 20 minutes per day. This is considered a safe method to accelerate treatment and is FDA approved.
The biggest reason that many patients opt for an accelerated method is to reduce treatment time – some are aiming to have their teeth straight by a specific day (for a wedding, or graduation for instance), and some would simply rather be done with braces as quick as possible. No matter the reason, accelerated orthodontics are a safe and efficient method for straightening your teeth.
Your first consultation with an orthodontist, and certainly with an orthodontist at the Pacific West Dental, Surrey office, is likely to last at least an hour. This gives you plenty of time to ask questions and for us to gather and share information.
After talking with you and reviewing your past and present medical and dental history, we may proceed with determining what treatment is necessary to correct any problems. We’ll typically do this with a visual examination of your teeth and also by taking regular photographs. Taking these photographs might be accompanied by seeking other relevant information, such as taking radiographic (X-ray) images, which allow us see the position and growth of bones and joints, and teeth that are still below the gum line. At the completion of this stage, we’ll be able to provide you with a tentative treatment plan.
We may also take an impression (mold) of the teeth in order to make a custom replica of your bite. This model helps us to understand the problem and how best to treat it. Following this, we will perform a detailed analysis of the records and images in order to give you a final diagnosis.
The final thing that happens on your first visit to the orthodontist at Pacific West Dental, is the finalization of a treatment plan. At Pacific West Dental, we’ll explain the plan in detail, including a clear presentation of fees, dental payment plan options and possible appointment schedules. Note, however, that we may also be giving you the great news, that no treatment is necessary at that time. Do remember that you can ask questions at any stage of our first meeting at Pacific West Dental and while talking with an orthodontist. In both the Surrey and Vancouver offices, we encourage you to ask questions, as it’s an important part of determining a treatment that is right for you.
Straight teeth and a beautiful smile are the desired result of any orthodontic treatment. After treatment is complete, it can be really exciting to be free of wires and brackets and eat previously forbidden foods. However, to maintain your new smile, there are precautions you should take to ensure that it lasts into adulthood.
Maintaining straight teeth can be a lifelong endeavour, as often your teeth will want to return to their original positions. After getting your braces off, wearing your upper and lower retainers as instructed by your orthodontist, is key on keeping your teeth in place. Cleaning your retainers as directed and storing them safely will help to keep them in good shape, and avoid any reason to stop wearing them.
If it seems like your teeth are shifting after your treatment is complete, make sure to contact your orthodontist for follow-up right away. It will be easier to correct the problem and come up with a solution before things shift too dramatically. If you end up losing an adult tooth later on in life, this can also cause your teeth to shift, drifting into the space that was left by the tooth.
Maintaining proper oral health throughout your life is the simplest way to prevent periodontal disease and or other oral health issues that can cause tooth loss. Careful brushing and flossing is the best way to take care of your new smile into adulthood.
Make sure to continue follow-up appointments with your orthodontist yearly, or as directed, after your treatment is complete. You may be required to wear your post-treatment retainer or other device indefinitely, and that also may change over time. At Pacific West Dental, we have been serving clients for over two decades in Surrey and Vancouver – we want you to maintain your new smile and are here to help you with the process.
The Trudenta process is comprised of an assessment process and a treatment process. A qualified Surrey orthodontist should conduct both of these processes.
To start Trudenta in Surrey/Vancouver, you must visit an orthodontist who will begin the as-sessment. This begins with a bite force analysis, which will reveal any imbalances in your jaw, and will create a 3D digital model of the way forces are at work inside your mouth.
Next, your Surrey orthodontist will perform a range of motion analysis, discovering any irregu-larities and showing where to focus treatment.
A headache history form helps in understanding your symptoms and creating a detailed, accurate diagnosis.
A muscular exam checks your face and neck for trigger points, which are knots and bands in your muscles that can trigger pain.
A head health questionnaire uncovers any previous trauma that could be affecting your oral health.
When you are ready for treatment through Trudenta in Surrey/Vancouver, there are four aspects to the process.
Ultrasound therapy works to return circulation to your muscles and break up scar tissue and ad-hesions. This helps with trigger points especially.
Trigger point therapy targets areas of the muscles that are causing pain, through manual stimulation of your muscles. This helps with tension and gives your orthodontist a better canvas for other rehabilitation processes.
Electrocurrent therapy uses a painless, low level current, applied to areas of pain and sensitivity. This helps soothe inflamed muscles and stimulates the nerves, while reducing lactic acid buildup that can cause problems.
Finally, low level cold laser treatment works to heal inflammation.
All of these therapies and assessment programs work together to address orthodontic issues at their root, and treat them in a long lasting manner, reducing pain and strain on your body.