When Grinding Your Teeth Becomes a Headache

when-grinding-your-teeth-becomes-a-headacheThere are almost countless potential reasons behind a common headache, but when the pain frequently comes back, then the underlying problem may be more serious than you realize at first. For instance, patients with bruxism can experience chronic headaches and migraines due to the pressure of constantly grinding their teeth. If you suffer from recurring headaches and haven’t discovered why, then your dentist can help determine if bruxism is the cause and recommend customized treatment to help you alleviate the pain.

The Nature of Bruxism

Bruxism isn’t just grinding your teeth. In fact, nearly everyone does that at some point in their lives. On the contrary, bruxism is the unconscious and uncontrollable act of grinding one’s teeth, usually at night while the patient is asleep. It can be caused by a number of different factors, from a misaligned bite to trouble with your jaw joints (TMJs) and more. Because it can go unnoticed for quite a while, bruxism is often detected when the dentist notices excessive tooth wear and damage during a routine dental examination.

How Your Dentist Can Help

Treating bruxism and its many symptoms depends on the unique nature and severity of your condition. For instance, if you grind your teeth because your bite is imbalanced, then you may need orthodontic treatment to correct the misalignment. If bruxism is a nervous response to excessive daily stress, then you may need to learn how to better manage the stress for your dental health as well as your overall wellbeing.

For many patients, however, bruxism and bruxism headaches can be alleviated with a custom-made oral appliance. Your dentist will carefully evaluate your bite to determine what style of bite plate appliance would be best for your specific needs, such as a Nociceptive Trigeminal Inhibition (NTI) appliance. Unlike a conventional nightguard, NTI appliances only partially cover your teeth so you can comfortably wear the appliance at night while you sleep.