What Type Of Headache Do You Have

Headaches are just that, your head aches. When you are suffering from a headache and seeking medical advice, a common question you will hear is “what type of headache do you have”? Knowing the different types of headaches and their causes, can help find the most effective treatment.

Some common headaches include:

Tension Headache

A tension headache begins slowly and can be felt across the forehead just above the eyes. This type of headache may feel as though a tight band is around your head. Radiating pain down the back of the neck and into the shoulders. A pain level of mild to moderate. Tension headaches can last for a few hours; depending on your stress level, a tension headache can last for several days. Unfortunately, due to work, health and other contributing factors, tension headaches can become a chronic ailment, requiring intervention from your doctor.

Cluster Headache

Cluster headaches behave just as their name describes, in clusters. Several headaches or groups of headaches can come on in waves lasting 20 minutes or longer. Typically, a cluster headache is very severe on the pain scale and for the average suffer come on suddenly in the middle of the night. Other side effects of a cluster headache include nasal stuffiness, drooping eyelid and tearing of the eyes. Although rare, cluster headaches can afflict a sufferer for weeks and or months at a time. Non-life threatening, cluster headaches can be treated by your doctor, making them shorter and or less severe.

Sinus Headache

Sinus headaches are very common for those that live in damper climates like Vancouver. A sinus headache can be an early sign of a sinus infection. A sinus headache will present with a lot of pressure in the areas of your eyes, forehead and nose. Putting your head forward can cause that pressure and pain increase. A sinus headache is usually accompanied by congestion, a runny nose, fatigue and an achy feeling in your upper teeth or gums.

Migraine Headache

A migraine can be debilitating, with severe throbbing pain typically on one side of the head. Migraine sufferers have reported their headaches lasting from hours to days, usually requiring them to be in complete silence and darkness. For some, a migraine can present early warning signals called “auras” including flashes of light, a tingling sensation in their face, or blind spots. Recurring migraines should be treated by your doctor to confirm there is not an underlying medical concern causing the migraine.

Headaches are disruptive, whether it be a tension, sinus, cluster or migraine headache. Knowing the symptoms of the different types of headaches will better assist you and your doctor in determining what is the best treatment to eliminate the pain and other symptoms that can come with a headache. Treatment centres like the BC Head Pain Institute in Vancouver can work with you to determine the type, cause and treatment of your head pain.

What Happens If TMJ Goes Untreated?

What Happens If TMJ Goes Untreated?

TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint, and TMJ is commonly used to refer to disorders of this joint. The temporomandibular joint is the joint where your jaw attaches to your skull. Disorders of this joint are not uncommon.

So, the question arises, what happens if you have TMJ and you don’t treat it?

You won’t die.

Common disorders of the temporomandibular joint are not life-threatening. So, if you don’t treat it, you won’t necessarily shorten your life.

However, TMJ disorders and treatment of these disorders is a quality of life thing. If you have TMJ and experience chronic discomfort, then wouldn’t you be better off to treat it?

It may get worse.

This risk of not treating TMJ is your pain and discomfort may get worse. Some people experience jaw pain, and others have headaches. Patients may hear a clicking sound when they move their jaw. Some people feel like their jaw is locking.

All of these things are uncomfortable. The question becomes how much do these issues interfere with your daily life and function. You may feel much better if you undergo some treatment for it.

If you choose not to treat your TMJ disorder, you may experience the following:

* Severe headaches
* Back pain, shoulder, and neck discomfort
* Tinnitus
* Teeth grinding

TMJ disorders have also been closely connected with depression and anxiety. If this disorder is left untreated by a specialist it can cause anxiety and depression which can eventually impair mood and sleep habits.

Related teeth grinding is a major problem.

Left untreated teeth grinding can severely damage your teeth and your bite requiring extensive and expensive tooth repair.

And it’s also clear that those suffering from chronic pain have a shorter life expectancy.

TMJ disorder is triggered by numerous daily tasks like yawing, eating, or talking. Anyone who suffers from this disease should go for medical treatment. Failure to see a doctor can bring lifelong negative consequences that can significantly impact your quality of life.

The BC Head Pain Institute was launched by Dr. Cheng Lun Wang specifically to help those with pain in the head, neck, and jaw. With two offices in Surrey and Vancouver, BC, it’s easy to come and see us.

If you have any questions about this article, or would like to schedule a visit, please contact us.

What is a Trigeminal Nerve?

What is a Trigeminal Nerve?

The trigeminal nerve is a cranial nerve that innervates part of the face. This nerve is not only responsible for much of the feeling and sensation in the face, but also for motor control of the jaw for biting and chewing. Trigeminal neuralgia is a condition in which this nerve can cause severe pain in individuals suffering from it.

What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?
Neuralgia refers to any stabbing, burning or severe pain that is caused by a damaged or irritated nerve. So trigeminal neuralgia is caused by the trigeminal nerve being irritated. As previously stated, this nerve provides feeling to most of the face, as well as the teeth and mouth (mandibular nerve) through it’s many branches. As the nerves are all interconnected, any stimulus at one part can cause sensation at another.

Trigeminal neuralgia is often caused by the trigeminal nerve having pressure put on it by an artery or vein at the base of the brain. Trigeminal neuralgia may be a sign or symptom of a more severe disease, such as multiple sclerosis, but can also happen without other underlying issues.

People who suffer from trigeminal neuralgia will experience a range of symptoms, including episodes of shooting pain, constant throbbing pain, or short attacks of pain. This could be in many areas across the face, or it could feel like dental-related head pain.

It can be triggered by a number of things, including touching your teeth or face, eating, movement such as smiling, and talking. There are medications and treatments available through a doctor.

Other Trigeminal Nerve Indications
The trigeminal nerve will also indicate should there be another problem. As previously mentioned, this nerve connects directly to the nerves that innervate the teeth. This means that any dental-related problems will send pain signals up this nerve. As the nerve is connected to other areas on the face, this pain could radiate elsewhere and not be felt on the tooth where it originated. This makes deciphering the cause of the pain more difficult.
If you are experiencing occasional, or constant pain it may be a sign of a more serious issue. It is best to seek out head pain treatment in Vancouver and put a stop to it, so you can get back to living you life.

What is a Digital Bite Force Analysis and How is it Used to Diagnose Head Pain?

What is a Digital Bite Force Analysis and How is it Used to Diagnose Head Pain?

As you are probably aware, head pain can be caused by a number of different factors and conditions. One common cause of head pain are temporomandibular disorders, or TMD. TMD can be caused by many problems, all associated with movement and pain around the temporomandibular joints (jaw joints). Diagnosing the exact cause of head pain can be a challenge, but new technologies such as digital bite force analysis are making this simpler.

What is digital bite force analysis?
Digital bite force analysis is a scan (commonly referred to as a T-Scan) that can be carried out by a dentist to accurately identify any occlusal forces that may be causing TMD. An occlusal force is pressure that is exerted on opposing teeth when the jaw is closed or clenched. This is usually a result of teeth not aligning correctly.

A T-scan allows dentists to quickly and accurately correct areas of occlusion forces. Older methods, such as articulating paper, are not as efficient as a scan. This meant that there may have been repeat visits necessary, treatment can take longer, and may have been less effective. Having occlusal force issues identified and remedied is a quick, safe way to reduce TMD symptoms and head pain. The digital bite force analysis can give the best indicator of the issues, and provide information needed for the best course of treatment.

Head pain is complicated, as there are so many potential causes. BC Head Pain Institute can help with your head pain treatment in Vancouver.

Signs Your Headache Might be a Dental Problem

Signs Your Headache Might be a Dental Problem

Something that many people are not aware of this that oral health and well-being can actually be connected to headaches. It is actually very common for tension headaches to be caused by dental problems. Here are some common dental problems that may be the culprit.

Cavities and Infections

A simple cavity may be the cause of your tension headache. Because nerves are all connected, any cavity or infection at the cavity site can cause pain to travel along the nerve and be “deferred” at a different location. It is common, then, for pain to be felt as a tension headache, whereas the culprit is actually a tooth.


Another common cause of dental related tension headaches is a jaw or teeth misalignment. This misalignment can often cause strain and other stresses on the muscles, which results in the headache. A dentist can help with this by providing orthodontic work to fix the misalignment.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

TMJ for short, this is a major cause of tension headaches. The joint in question with this disorder is the jaw’s connection to your skull, and it affects not only the joint but all the surrounding tissue and nerves. TMJ has many causes, including stress, bruxism, jaw misalignment, poor orthodontic work, and excessive jaw overuse. As you can see, some of these are also previously mentioned issues, so TMJ and resulting headaches can be fairly compex. While TMJ can sometimes go away on its own, it often does require intervention and the help of a TMJ specialist.

If you are suffering from tension headaches, it might be a dental problem which is causing it. A visit to your dentist, ro the help of a headache specialist in Vancouver may be exactly what you need to start treating those tension headaches.


What is TRUDenta Rehabilitation Therapy?

What is TRUDenta Rehabilitation Therapy?

If you suffer from headaches and migraines, tinnitus, vertigo and dizziness, or temporomandibular disorders, you may have had TruDenta rehabilitation therapy recommended to you by a head pain specialist. So what is TruDenta rehabilitation therapy?

What is TMJ Disorder?

To fully understand what TruDenta rehabilitation therapy is, it is first important to understand the cause of your head pain and what factors may play a part. For this, we will look at temporomandibular disorder, or TMJ disorder. TMJ disorder can lead to many other symptoms, including the previously mentioned migraines and tinnitus.

TMJ disorder can be caused by a number of factors, or even a combination of these. It may be caused by:

  • Stress leading to muscle tension in the joint
  • Physical Trauma
  • Dental or Orthodontic work or problems
  • Grinding of teeth

What is TruDenta Rehabilitation Therapy?

The TruDenta process first begins with comprehensive diagnosis to paint a clear picture of what is happening to cause the issues. With the number of known causes, this is an important step. This diagnosis includes force and range of motion analysis, symptoms and headache history, and a muscle exam.

Once a diagnosis has been made, and the cause of the problem found, the treatment process can begin. The treatment plans are tailored for each patient, based on the findings from the diagnosis. Some of the treatments that are used as part of this may include ultrasound, muscle therapy, trigger point manipulation, and photobiomodulation.

TruDenta has shown to be an effective treatment and recommended by many head pain specialists due to it not relying on painkillers or other prescription drugs, and being tailored and specific for each individual. Ask your head pain specialist about TruDenta rehabilitation therapy today.

Differentiating Headaches

Differentiating Headaches

Headaches are not all the same, and the causes, symptoms and severity between them can drastically differ. Differentiating between types of headaches and having a proper headache diagnosis is key to treating a problem and providing quick headache relief. Headaches can commonly be classified into two main categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches.

Primary Headaches

Primary headaches are headaches which are not a symptom of another problem. Simply put, primary headaches are the problem themselves. One common type of primary headache is a tension headache. These headaches are often short lived and have a variety of triggers including stress, dehydration, stress, anxiety and depression. These headaches can often be prevented by eating well, sleeping well, exercising, and managing stress levels.

Migraines are also a well-known type of primary headache. Migraines are usually more painful than tension headaches, and tend to last for longer periods. These headaches may cause other symptoms rather than pain, such as light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, nausea or even vomiting. These headaches can last for a long time, often days.

Secondary Headaches

Secondary headaches are headaches which are caused by another problem. This means that the headache is the symptom of another problem. Common causes of secondary headaches include caffeine withdrawal, jaw and dental problems,  or head injuries. Hormonal changes in women, such as those that happen during a period, during pregnancy, or during menopause can also trigger secondary headaches.

Another common cause of a secondary headache is a hangover, caused by the consumption of too much alcohol. This throbbing headache usually includes sensitivity to light and movement, and may take a day or two to fully recover from.

Within these two main categories are a number of other types of headaches. What is important is to recognize and differentiate the cause or reason for having a specific type of headache, and to seek help should it be a sign of something more serious, or preventing you from enjoying life. For more information, seek out a headache clinic in Vancouver, such as BC Headpain.

How Can Old Fillings and Crowns Lead to Head Pain?

How Can Old Fillings and Crowns Lead to Head Pain?

There are so many reasons why someone may be suffering from head pain. Headaches, migraines and other pain are symptoms of dozens of different problems. The one thing that they all have in common is the desire for effective head pain treatment by the person suffering. One less known but common cause of head pain is the presence of old dental fillings and crowns.

Headaches and Dental Problems

Headaches are a common symptom of a wide range of dental problems. The human nervous system is complex and interconnected, meaning pain or stimulation in one area can cause sensations in others. You may have never thought that previous dental work could be causing your head pain, but amalgam fillings and old crowns could be the culprit.

First, old amalgam fillings were done using a combination of metals. overtime, these metals can break down and become damaged.  This can lead to the filling becoming lose, and putting unwanted pressure on the nerves around the site. This stimulation can travel up these nerves, and the result can be a headache or even a migraine.

Damaged fillings and crowns can also affect your bite. If they are no longer fitting just right, you may have a bite that does not line up. This can put further wear on your teeth, stress on your TMJ, and even cause bruxism. These can work alone, or together, to be the cause of your head pain.

If you suffer from headaches, you may benefit from seeing a TMJ specialist to help determine the cause and find a way to overcome them. Visit BC Headpain today to get started on your journey to healing.

How Does a Dentist Diagnose Head Pain, including Migraines?

How Does a Dentist Diagnose Head Pain, including Migraines?

Almost every one of us has experienced a headache, or other head pain in our lives. Many of us have also experienced a severe and possibly debilitating migraine. Head pain can be extremely uncomfortable and burdensome, so it becomes important to learn about the cause and remedy this as quickly as possible. Your dentist may actual be pivotal in diagnosing head pain and finding those migraine triggers. Here are some possible oral causes for head pain that your dentist and head pain specialist could help to determine.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)

The temporomandibular joint as the joint that connects your jaw to the rest of your skull. This is a fairly complex joint, as it allows for not only strong biting, but movement in several directions. Overuse or damage to this joint can cause pain to travel up your head, causing head pain or even migraines.


Another common cause of head pain is deferred pain from a toothache. Toothaches may be caused by a number of reasons, but most commonly result from cavities, root issues, or gum disease. The stimulation of the nerve near your tooth can cause pain to travel, presenting as head pain or migraines. Your dentist will be able to examine your teeth and gums as part of your regular checkup and determine if any decay or other problems could be causing your head pain.


Bruxism is the fancy way of referring to the grinding or clenching of teeth. Many people are not even aware that they may grind or clench their sleep, whether during the day or even while asleep. There are many causes for bruxism, including stress, alcohol and caffeine consumption, or misaligned teeth. Head pain and even migraines are common symptoms of bruxism, and your dentist will be able to examine your teeth for signs of wear, and indications that you are grinding or clenching.

The human body is a complex and connected system. When one part experiences problems, it can have wide reaching effects. Dentists are able to diagnose possible causes for your head pain, and help you get back to feeling yourself.

What is Whiplash Induced TMJ?

What is Whiplash Induced TMJ?

For those experiencing whiplash trauma, there is a high chance that whiplash will induce TMJ symptoms. Many people are not aware of what whiplash induced TMJ, and the need for a neck pain specialist to help with managing symptoms.

What is TMJ Pain?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint in which the jaw connects to the rest of the skull. This is a complicated joint, especially when considering the number of different movements it is capable of moving, and the fine muscles it needs to accomplish this. When these muscles, or the surrounding ligaments, discs or bones are damaged, such as in the event of whiplash, the result can be a painful TMJ syndrome.

TMJ syndrome can carry many painful symptoms with it, including head and neck pain, ear pain, headaches and migraines, and even difficulty chewing, and speaking. When people experience whiplash, they may not realize that head or neck pain is the result of TMJ damage, and this is where whiplash treatment by a neck pain specialist is needed.

Neck Pain Specialist

A neck pain specialist, such as those at BC Headpain, is able to properly assess your pain and determine if it is caused by whiplash induced TMJ. With a proper diagnosis, a thorough treatment plan can be recommended, and steps towards healing and ridding yourself of chronic pain can be realized.

If you have suffered from whiplash, and continue to have symptoms in line with TMJ syndrome, make sure to contact BC Headpain today.

Can Tooth Extraction Cause Pain?

Can Tooth Extraction Cause Pain?

Can Tooth Extraction Cause Pain?

Answer: There is likely to be some degree of discomfort caused by a tooth distraction.

Often a tooth extraction is a necessary treatment, whether its to relieve a crowded mouth, or remove wisdom teeth. While the extraction of teeth has not been shown to directly cause head pain, there are some related factors that may result in head pain, such as:

  • Surgery Recovery
  • Jaw Pain
  • Stress

Surgery Recovery

As with any surgery, even minor ones such as tooth extraction, there will be some degree of damage and discomfort. This pain could be caused by soft tissue damage within your mouth, as a result of being cut during tooth extraction. This pain is often localized pain, but may become a headache or migraine.

Jaw Pain

With any dental treatment, especially tooth extraction, the jaw is forced to open wide and held there for an extended period of time. This creates stress on the muscles, or even muscle tearing. Jaw Pain is a primary candidate for causing migraines and other head pain, and tooth extraction could lead to this.

Stress and Anxiety

Finally, the stress of having a tooth extracted may cause anxiety which leads to grinding and clenching of teeth. Other pain from after the procedure could further exacerbate this, leading to further head pain.

Head Pain Treatment

If you are suffering from head pain after a tooth extraction, you should seek out head pain treatment from a head pain specialist in Surrey. If the pain is located where the tooth used to reside, there may be other issues such as infection and it is important to get checked out. If you have other head pain, there may be treatments and remedies available to help you with this, and get you back on your feet.