Do you suffer from Tension or Migraine headaches? TMJ pain?

If you suffer from any of the above, you are probably all too familiar with over-the-counter and prescription reme­dies that can only offer you temporary relief (if any relief at all). Frustrating, to say the least. Wouldn’t it make more sense to treat the cause? Dr. Lisa Marie Samaha of Port Warwick Dental Arts believes so, and knows the answer to head and neck pain may be in your bite.

“Headaches are not normal,” says Dr. Samaha. “Those who suffer from headaches, (including migraines) TMJ pain and generalized head, neck and jaw pain, often think this is ‘normal.’ And when they seek help, they are often told that their pain is the result of stress. Sometimes this is true. Often, individuals are evaluated by a skilled physi­cian, extensive testing is performed, only to result in the administration of prescription drugs that may control the pain, often have negative side effects and do little to treat the cause.”

“The overwhelming reality is that a person’s bite or bite habits are the origin of the majority of head, neck and jaw pain. In many cases pain can be resolved, sometimes overnight, with a gentle, straightforward process offered by a dentist who has the training necessary to evaluate and treat head and neck pain. Other times, more advanced techniques that include neuromuscular and structural analyses are necessary in order to unravel the cause(s).Once discovered, a more advanced and strategic plan can be developed.”

No matter what, when it comes to caring for her patients, Dr. Samaha is committed to diagnosing and treating the cause—rather than medicating the symptoms—of any disease process she encounters in her patients.

Although biting and chewing seem like relatively effortless processes, these functions are made possible by a complex series of muscles, ligaments and joints working together to keep your upper and lower jaws aligned. A misalignment between the upper and lower jaws can be caused by accidental trauma to the face or skull, or simply from trauma occurring as far back as the birthing process. When a distortion has occurred, the movable lower portion of the jaw (called the mandible) must find and fit into the upper stationary portion of the jaw (the maxilla) during th chewing process.

When any part of that alignment is off, the muscles and ligaments involved do their best to compensate and bring the jaws back into alignment. The associated twisting needed to make this happen can cause head, neck, jaw and even tooth pain.

So if you have more headaches than you’d care to count and you’re tired of masking the pain with pre­scription drugs rather than getting down to the true core of the problem, make an appointment today to see Dr. Samaha for a diagnostic evaluation. Treating the cause rather than just the symptoms is a hallmark of Dr. Samaha’s patient care. There is no need to live with unnecessary pain for another day.