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This Bad Dental Habit Could be Causing Your Headaches

woman with headache caused by teeth grinding

Do you suffer from frequent headaches or migraines? The tension could be coming from something you haven’t given previous thought to: your teeth grinding and clenching habit.

Also called “bruxism,” teeth grinding is known to cause a plethora or side-effects, ranging from worn teeth to, you guessed it, headaches.

How Does Bruxism Cause Pain?

When your teeth are clenching against one another, it causes tension in the jaw muscles and around your TMJ (the hinge joint on each side of the mandible, just in front of your ear.) Over time the constant fatigue can radiate into the face, head, neck, shoulders, and even your back.

You may find that while you don’t notice the clenching and grinding, you do notice the headaches, neck aches, or migraine. Other symptoms of bruxism include earaches and broken dental work.

When Grinding is at its Worst

There are a few different reasons why people grind their teeth. Stress is one of them. If you have a stressful job or family situation going on, you may be grinding during your sleep and not be able to do anything about it. At other times, the grinding can be during the day (like while you’re driving a car) and you can make a mental effort to break the habit.

Treatments for Teeth Grinding (and Headaches)

Depending on the cause and severity of your teeth grinding habit, there are two popular treatments to consider: bite splints and injectables.

With a custom bite splint, your teeth are prevented from fully clenching together, which consequently disengages your jaw. Worn regularly, a bite splint prevents muscle pain and fatigue.

Injectables on the other hand, act as natural muscle relaxants. They ease the tension through your jaw, face, and forehead where headaches originate.

Visit Somersmiles Dental for headache treatments in Somerville!