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.

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