Did you know that many headaches are actually linked to your teeth? Bruxism is a term to describe the clenching and grinding of teeth. When a person clenches or grinds their teeth together, muscles that control the movement of the jaws work overtime.
The muscles (in particular the temporalis and masseter muscles) become very sore and cause painful tension-type headaches. Facial pain is also frequent symptom with bruxism.
Bruxism can be sparked by a number of things including: stress, anxiety, and bite abnormalities.
Treatment can significantly reduce the frequency or severity of the headaches and/or facial pain. The most common form of treatment is a dental appliance that can control your bite and jaw position. This will help protect the teeth, distribute the forces of bruxism, ease tension off of the muscles, and in some cases stop the bruxism habit all together.
Although dental devices can really help the symptoms, sometimes stress management and/or therapy can be very beneficial to get to the source of the problem. In addition, if the source is a bite abnormality, it is worth investigating if and how that can be corrected.