If you’re the type who carries stress in your jaw, then you are likely to get a lot of headaches from teeth clenching. Bruxism, which occurs when you unconsciously grind your teeth throughout the day and even at night while you’re sleeping, is a common migraine trigger. Here are some tips to help you reduce migraines and other headaches from teeth clenching.
Symptoms of bruxism
Teeth clenching is more than just an annoyance and a source of headaches; long-term bruxism can also cause damage to your skull structure, in addition to ailments such as tinnitus and chronic headaches.
Symptoms of teeth grinding include:
- Chronic headaches, migraines, or facial pain
- Persistent tension in the jaws
- Tendency to grate your upper and lower teeth
- Nighttime teeth grinding that is loud enough to wake you up
- Muscle fatigue in the jaws
- Teeth that are unnaturally straight on the tips, without ridges between each tooth
- Worn enamel of the teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
- Scarred tissue on the inside of the cheeks (from biting)
- Tongue scars or cuts
- Earaches or ear fullness
- Tinnitus (constant ear ringing) that causes headaches
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder
Are your headaches from teeth clenching?
If you already suffer from migraines, then you might not be aware if teeth grinding is contributing to your chronic headaches.
Here are some warnings signs and risk factors of bruxism headaches:
- Chewing is painful.
- Jaws ache first thing in the morning.
- Teeth show signs of enamel decay.
- In addition to headaches, you also suffer from facial pain in the cheeks, temples, or lower jaw.
- You also suffer from sleep problems like snoring, sleep apnea, or sleep talking.
- You’ve noticed an increase in migraine headaches.
Tips to stop grinding your teeth
First, see your dentist and possibly, an osteopath to determine if your teeth grinding is caused by a structural deformity.
Tips for treating bruxism include:
- Wear a mouth guard, or occlusal splint, during the day and at night
- Wear a Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD)
- Practice relaxing your jaw, while keeping your mouth closed and your jaws apart
- See a masseuse on a regular basis to relax your jaw muscles, relieve tension, and soothe migraine headaches from teeth clenching.
- Set an alarm to remind yourself throughout the day to relax your jaws.
- Exercise daily, to relieve stress and prevent migraines.
- See a psychiatrist, especially if you suspect teeth grinding is caused by excess stress or anxiety.
- Stop chewing gum or eating hard, tough foods that require a lot of chomping.
- Use a hot pad or cold pack for pain relief.
- Take nutritional supplements that benefit individuals suffering from migraine headaches, stress, and teeth grinding, such as magnesium or butterbur.
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