- posted: Jun. 03, 2015
"Oh, my aching head." More people than you may realize utter that complaint. In fact, the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain states that 40 percent of healthy adults have recurring headaches. This pain debilitates some sufferers, as in the case of migraines, but other individuals suffer in silence.
Physicians and dentists recommend some common sense strategies to prevent headaches before they start. As routine lifestyle changes, these easy tips could relieve the aching pain behind the eyes and the sore neck, jaw and shoulder muscles characteristic of so many headaches.
1. Get regular sleep. Eight hours a night calms and refreshes, easing muscle tension. To ensure falling and staying asleep, establish a good bedtime routine. In the hour before bedtime, turn off the TV, tablet and cell phone, and dim the lights. These things encourage your body and brain to settle down. In addition, resist the temptation to nap during the day.
2. Exercise regularly. A University of Gothenberg study reports that 40 minutes of moderately strenuous activity daily raises the happy and relaxed brain chemicals called endorphins, enabling a person to drift off to sleep each night. Regular physical activity also fights off the "weekend warrior" syndrome in which people exercise too hard too infrequently and then report - guess what - headaches.
3. Find ways to reduce stress. Chronic stress tightens muscles all over the body, but especially from the shoulders up. Physicians recommend people practice slow, deliberate breathing to increase levels of oxygen and to release endorphins. Learn to relax muscles by tensing some of them. While this seems counterintuitive, it works over time.
For instance, while sitting at your desk during the day, clench your fists, hold for a few seconds and release. It's as simple as that. Also, you may be clenching your jaw or tightening your shoulders unconsciously several times during the work day. So, be aware of your body, and relax those tense muscles.
4. See your Newmarket, Ontario dentist for a bite check-up. When a bite does not line-up properly, undue physical forces push up and down on teeth during chewing and during moments of stress. Grinding tightens jaw and neck muscles, leading to headaches.
Dr. Richard Lee-Shanok at Newmarket Dentistry will examine your teeth and jaw bone and the tempormandibular joint as well, a common cause of sore facial muscles and odd popping and clicking noises. People with TMJ dysfunction may benefit from custom-made night time mouth guards which seem to prevent painful teeth grinding and headaches.
In addition, Dr. Lee-Shanok examines teeth for decay or failing restorations which lead to headaches. X-rays and other imaging may reveal hidden dental problems or issues that require orthodontic treatment.
Newmarket Dentistry Wants You Healthy
Would you like to learn more about how to prevent headaches? Book a consultation with Dr. Lee-Shanok. This experienced family dentist and his friendly staff will listen to your concerns and help you get to the cause of your headaches. Call today: (905) 830-1010.
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