If you grind your teeth, either in your sleep or while awake, you’re more likely to get headaches. Treating the underlying cause should reduce your symptoms.
Teeth grinding (bruxism) is quite common, affecting about
- tooth wear
- tooth hypersensitivity
- temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain or jaw pain
- poor sleep
Another complication is headaches.
When you grind your teeth, you’re putting pressure on muscles, tissues, and other parts of your jaw. This tension then spreads to the head and neck, causing headaches and sore muscles.
According to one study, around
What kinds of headaches can teeth grinding cause?
Certain headaches seem to be more common with teeth grinding, including:
- Migraine headaches: These cause
recurring episodesof moderate to severe throbbing and pulsating pain on one side of the head.
- Tension headaches: These are one of the
most common typesof headache. They cause mild to moderate pain and a feeling of tightness or pressure around the head.
- Secondary headaches: These are headaches that arise from an underlying condition, such as a head or neck injury.
- Morning headaches: Doctors often
link these to OSAand other sleep disorders that usually occur after waking up.
As well as painful pulsing or throbbing sensations in the head, teeth grinding headaches may cause
- an increase in light or sound sensitivity
- muscle weakness
- vision problems
Bruxism may also cause dental and jaw pain. Teeth grinding and clenching may lead to wear and tear on your teeth, leaving cracks on the outer layer of the tooth. Without treatment or intervention, the condition might cause your teeth to loosen or even fall out.
People with bruxism might also develop TMJ disorders. These affect the muscles responsible for chewing and the joints that connect the lower jaw to the skull.
Symptoms of TMJ disorders can include:
How long teeth grinding headaches last depends on the type of headache you have. For example, if you have a migraine headache, you may have pain or discomfort for a few hours up to several days.
If you’re dealing with teeth grinding, here are some
- Get regular dental checkups.
- Try stress-relieving techniques, such as yoga, meditation, or counseling.
- Set reminders to keep your teeth apart if you grind your teeth while you’re awake.
- Try a mouthguard to separate your teeth while you sleep.
- Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake.
- If you smoke, try to quit. This can be difficult, but a doctor can help you create a cessation plan that works for you.
If a dentist discovers signs of bruxism, they may suggest certain treatments, such as dental crowns or other tooth repair solutions.
If there’s an underlying cause of teeth grinding, such as OSA or another medical condition, your dentist may refer you to another healthcare professional for additional treatment.
It’s important to seek medical attention if you notice signs or symptoms of bruxism. Severe sleep bruxism might cause tooth damage in addition to your headaches.
You may want to share your concerns with your dentist to find the best treatment options for teeth grinding.
Teeth grinding (bruxism) is a common condition that might cause mild to severe headaches. Certain health conditions, such as OSA and TMJ disorders, are often tied to bruxism headaches.
Besides headaches, teeth grinding may cause painful and uncomfortable symptoms, like jaw pain, earaches, and increased light or sound sensitivity.
If you think you’re experiencing bruxism headaches, it’s a good idea to speak with a doctor to discuss your treatment options.