Headaches can occur for many reasons, including stress, poor posture, or a genetic predisposition. However, teeth grinding and clenching, also known as bruxism, is also a common cause of headaches — and most people don’t even notice that they grind their teeth, especially when they’re sleeping. The good news is, the problem can be solved with a trip to the dentist.
Do you suffer from bruxism? Our team of dental specialists at Pro Dental Care in Elgin, South Elgin, and Sleepy Hollow, Illinois can help you prevent headaches and improve the quality of your sleep. Stick with us to learn more about how grinding your teeth can cause headaches, and find out how a mouth guard can help you get rid of them.
The link between morning headaches and bruxism
Nocturnal bruxism can put a lot of pressure on your jaw muscles and bones, as it involves a repetitive movement that neither your jaw, nor your teeth, are made to endure. This can lead to severe pain in the morning. Bruxism also causes you to overuse your temporomandibular joint, resulting in a dull ache that radiates from your jaw to your temples. The cause of bruxism is unclear, but stress, anxiety, missing teeth, and a misaligned bite can increase your risk for developing the condition.
How a mouth guard prevents morning headaches
A mouth guard is an oral device made out of plastic that protects your teeth from the damage caused by grinding and clenching. While a guard doesn’t prevent you from grinding your teeth, it provides a soft barrier between your lower and upper teeth, reducing the tension on your teeth, muscles, and joints.
Customized vs. store-bought mouth guards
It might be tempting to simply walk into a store and buy the first mouth guard you see on the shelf, but over-the-counter mouth guards are disadvantageous in a few ways. A mouth guard that isn’t customized specifically for your teeth won’t fit well, nor will it stay in place while you sleep. Plus, having a missing tooth or a misaligned bite can make it even more difficult to find a store-bought mouth guard that fits snugly.
If you suffer from morning headaches and suspect that teeth grinding and clenching may be at the root of your discomfort and pain, don’t hesitate to contact our team at Pro Dental Care. We can help you with a diagnosis and create a fully customized mouth guard based on an impression of your teeth.