migraine If you suffer migraine or tension headaches, here’s a thought to chew on:

They may be caused by your bite. The pain you have in your head and neck could be due to the fact that your jaw is not resting where it wants to be.

When it’s not, your jaw muscles are in a state of chronic contraction. And it is the muscles of the temple area of the forehead that play an important part in the posturing and closing of the jaw. When your bite (occlusion) is not right, it can lead to abnormal tension, one of several possible causes of tension-type headaches.

Each year, more than 28 million Americans, a majority of them women, suffer from chronic migraine headaches. They miss work and spend billions of dollars on drugs and other remedies. The good news is that if your bite is the cause of your headaches, it is easy to treat and correct.

The experience of Sherin Sakr, a Denver-based attorney, is a good example. Sakr suffered from severe migraine headaches, forcing her to miss three to four weeks of work each year. Since seeking treatment from a specially trained neuromuscular dentist, she hasn’t missed any work because of a migraine. Furthermore, for over a year she experienced only one migraine and that one she was able to treat with over-the-counter drugs.

How The Condition Is Treated

According to Dr. William Dickerson, a neuromuscular dentist and founder of LVI Global, to treat problems such as underbites or overbites (malocclusion), a neuromuscular dentist finds the most comfortable muscle position of the lower jaw. The dentist will then place a custom-made repositioning orthotic, usually on the lower teeth, to see if the pain the patient is having is related to the bite. Once the bite is realigned, the pain that is the result of the imbalance often disappears.