Is Bruxism Causing My Headaches?

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Having a headache is not fun. We all get them from time to time, but whereas most people only have them occasionally, there are those chronic sufferers that have the darned things every day. If you are one of those poor people looking for relief, we may have some new information that might help.

As a daily headache sufferer, you may think you have tried everything to rid yourself of the pounding in your temples. Even when over-the-counter drugs work, you know you’ll get another one later or the next day. You’ve changed your diet, tried exercise, maybe even been to the doctor, but nothing permanently gets rid of the consistent, daily annoyance in your head. It’s there every morning when you wake up. Does this sound like you?

There are many reasons why headaches occur, but one area that most people don’t think about is the dental/oral connection. Yes, your teeth may be the reason for your headache. Let me explain. There is a condition known as bruxism, the fancy term for clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth at night. You may not even know you are doing it. The same muscles that control mastication (chewing) may be working overtime at night, and be the cause of your chronic headaches in the morning. They are the temporalis and masseter muscles that connect to your head, covering your temples and your jaw. These powerful muscles exert major force on your teeth. Beyond the potential tooth damage and wear they can cause, these muscles can become sore from all that undercover work and transfer their tension to your head each morning.

If this sounds like it might be happening, make an appointment with our dentist for an evaluation. If bruxism might be the cause, we’ll be able to identify it and suggest a device to alleviate the problem.

If you’d like more education about a dental device for bruxism, call Dr. David O'Donnell and our helpful team at ODonnell Family Dentistry. Phone: 859-269-4613, or come by our office in Lexington, Kentucky.