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2015 02-20 aFriday night I had a terrible headache.  My neck was tense and my teeth hurt.  I felt like I’d been in a car wreck…but no, I just watched a very intense basketball game in the Alpine, Utah area!  Notice I didn’t say that I played a basketball game.  No, I was just a spectator that was a little too uptight!

My boys play on their high school basketball team and Friday night they were playing a very close rivalry game.  This was the team they had lost to last year in the state tournament.  We knew it was going to be a close game, and it didn’t disappoint.  Our team ended up winning the game, but not without a lot of bumps and bruises.

Concussions are scary 

My son is the point guard, and he hit the ground hard four times during the game. With about a minute left in the game, he got fouled and air balled the free throws- very unusual for him.  My other son (his twin brother) went up to the coach and said “I think something is wrong with him!”  Sure enough, he was seeing stars, could barely walk and his pulse was going a mile a minute.  He couldn’t seem to catch his breath, and he said that instead of just one rim on the basketball hoop there were a whole bunch all floating around.

A big guy on his team helped him to the school office to lay down, and his coach, who is also on the Search and Rescue team, quickly assessed him.  He was dehydrated and most likely suffering from a mild concussion.  As a mom, it was scary to watch my very tough son in this condition.  That, in addition to the tense game, explained my headache!

No more Headaches!

There are a lot of things in life that can lead to headaches and tense muscles near Alpine, Utah – I’m sure we all have our times.  But sometimes you get headaches and sore teeth and jaw muscles and there doesn’t seem to be any reason for the soreness.  My sore teeth showed that I had been gritting them together during the game, and my muscles were screaming at me for doing it.

Teeth, muscle and jaw issues are something that we see every day.  We used to give patients a big, thick mouthguard to sleep in so they wouldn’t wear their teeth out grinding.  After a few years of that, Dr Coles and I didn’t feel like we were really addressing the issues or solving problems, so we started learning more.  After hundreds of hours of continuing education about jaws and bites and muscles, we see things a lot differently.

Do you have bite or jaw issues that should be addressed?  Answer the following:

  1. Do you wake up with sore muscles in your face, neck or head?

  2. Do you wake up with a headache?

  3. Are your teeth sore when you wake up?

  4. Do you have a hard time eating hard foods like carrots or bagels?

  5. Do your muscles get tired if you talk too much?

  6. Can you chew gum for an extended length of time?

  7. Do you feel like your teeth are getting shorter or moving?

  8. Do you get headaches more than once or twice a month that aren’t easily explained?

  9. Do you feel like you have more than one bite or no good bite?

  10. Do you have gum recession even though your gums are healthy?

If you answered yes to two or more of the questions, it’s something we should look at next time you visit the Alpine, UT area.

What do we do to fix it?  It depends on the problem.  Dental treatment could include a simple retainer you sleep with.  If more extensive, we may recommend in-office bite balancing.    The results can be incredible and life changing if head and neck aches go away.  And, if we can’t help you with our conservative treatment, we have an excellent doctor that we work with for more extensive treatment.

If you would like some relief from head, teeth and facial pain, please call for a Bite and Muscle Exam. I know I’m going to be hitting up someone to make me a retainer to sleep in this week – and I’m wearing it to the next basketball game!

Have a great week,

Love Dr. Michelle Jorgensen

This information is not meant as medical advice. It is provided solely for education. Our practice would be pleased to discuss your unique circumstances and needs as they relate to these topics.

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