Several factors can cause headaches, soreness, or pain in the face and jaw. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is among the causes of frequent headaches. But teeth grinding might not come to mind immediately because of more commonly known problems
Teeth grinding usually happens during sleep, so many are unaware they even do it until a dental examination reveals tooth wear.
How Bruxism Leads To Headaches
Bruxism and headaches have a close connection. Not sure what it is causing you to grind? Dentists agree that these factors are common denominators when it comes to bruxism…
Anger, anxiety, or stress: Extreme emotional disturbances trigger teeth clenching or teeth grinding, which lead to migraines and severe headaches.
Intense concentration: The chances are that you involuntarily clench your teeth when focusing intensely on activities, like working or reading. It is called awake bruxism. It is also crucial to know that intense concentration may build up to a headache.
Excessive alcohol consumption: Drinking too much alcohol before bedtime affects sleep. The jaw muscles, as a result, become hyperactive and start clenching.
Too many caffeinated drinks like coffee: Caffeine energizes the body all day, but caffeine before bed slows down muscle relaxation, causes sleep disturbance patterns, and bruxism.
The Relationship with the Mouth Guard
Some research shows that tension headaches have a link to jaw issues. A mouth guard can be highly effective as its use may prevent bruxism and related headaches. Mouth guards create a barrier between the teeth, so they do not connect directly while sleeping. Pressure from any grinding distributes evenly across the entire jaw, and the teeth remain protected.
It is critical to consider getting a custom mouth guard when reviewing options. A custom mouth guard is specifically designed for you, using an impression of the oral structure, teeth, and bite pattern that a dentist takes before making the appliance. Customized mouth guards are more comfortable and fit better than the one size fits all versions sold at stores.
Custom-made guards are convenient to slip on right before bed, and you will sleep comfortably without feeling like something awkward is in your mouth. They also hold the teeth better in their positions.
Ill-fitting guards are likely to cause the shifting of the teeth. Additionally, they can worsen problems with biting or occlusion. You might end up needing cosmetic dentistry to repair unsightly gaps between the teeth that occur because of wearing ill-fitting mouth guards.
Dentists are now playing a significant role in diagnosing and treating chronic tension headaches, sometimes better than neurologists if a patient does not suffer from migraines.
A recommendation to wear a mouth guard regularly is a dental way of preventing bruxism and, by extension, the headaches that develop from the condition. It is essential to follow instructions by a dentist regarding choice and maintenance of mouth guard to relieve discomfort and improve quality of life. If you have grinding issues, and or chronic headaches, schedule an appointment with us today so our team at Midway Family Dentistry can help you to explore your options.