Dentist Questions Teeth Grinding

Can teeth grinding cause headaches?

I learned that I grinded my teeth while I'm asleep from my husband. I've also been dealing with chronic headaches, which would happen every so often. Is it possible that my headaches are connected to my teeth grinding?

22 Answers

The answer is yes! They are absolutely related, however, that may only be one component as to why you are having the headaches. The dental reason is that you are using your mouth muscles all night to grind you teeth causing your muscles to be sore from working out all night. The other component is stress causing you to grind at night. We recommend a night guard for you to grind on rather than your teeth.
It's very possible the headaches are related to teeth grinding. Many headaches are from muscle tension and that is increased with clenching and grinding of the teeth. Tooth grinding is often present in patients with sleep apnea. Have your dentist or physician evaluate both possibilities.
Teeth grinding and clenching can cause headaches, migraines as well as problems to your overall dental health. You should definitely consult a dentist for the correct type of night guard.
Sure. The condition is called Bruxism. Bruxism is excessive teeth grinding or jaw clenching. It is an oral para-functional activity, i.e., it is unrelated to normal function such as eating or talking. Several symptoms are commonly associated with bruxism, including hypersensitive teeth, aching jaw muscles, headaches, tooth wear, and damage to dental restorations (e.g., crowns and fillings). Symptoms may be minimal, without patient awareness of the condition.
Grinding, or other para-functions, such as chewing gum, eating hard food stuff, and clenching, can cause tension and pressure on masticatory muscles which are needed for mouth opening and closing. When someone walks or runs beyond his or her leg muscles’ capability, overwhelming muscles, soreness, activity limitation, and even pain on the relevant joints are possible. The same is possible with your mouth and jaw.

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Localized myalgia and myofascial pain are two unpleasant outcomes of overused muscles. Myofascial pain .....
Most definitely. Especially if there is accompanying jaw joint pain or if the headaches are more on the side of the head where the muscles that control the jaw are located.
Yes, your headaches may be connected to your teeth grinding. The jaw is a complicated two joint system with muscles and teeth that interact with each other. As a result if something is off balanced in your bite such as a filling, crown, or tooth in the wrong position or not perfectly balanced it will cause your body to feel the need to clench or grind. The body is trying to wear down or push the tooth into a different position. It is a very destructive process and can cause headaches through either excessive nerve feedback, muscle spasms, tooth pain, percussion waves traveling through the optic nerve and many other factors. You should have your bite checked by a professional well trained in TMJ and occlusion. He can make adjustments that may alleviate some if not all of your headaches. Also a night guard that is flat planned with a tripod of balanced occlusion (Left, Right, and Front) can also help protect your teeth and jaw at night while you are sleeping. This is a custom guard made by your dentist and a dental lab. The best ones have a soft inside and a hard outer shell.
Absolutely! You can consult your dentist to have him or her fabricate a bite guard to wear at night.
Yes, it also causes so many other issues, it can cause TMJ problems and fracture your teeth. A night guard helps protect your jaw and teeth.
Tooth grinding can cause muscle spasms. Muscle spasms hurt and can trigger headaches. We now know that many people grind their teeth in an unconscious effort to open their airway. You may want to look into a sleep study before getting a custom occlusal guard.
Teeth grinding or bruxism can sometime be a cause for headaches. If your husband is hearing you grinding your teeth it means you can use a night guard . It is an appliance you use at night to protect your teeth from the frictional damage to enamel and teeth from grinding. If this helps your headaches then you know what the cause is. If you also snore at night maybe you should consider going to a sleep clinic and check to see if you have sleep apnea. It can be a contributing factor to teeth grinding.
Wonderful question! Yes teeth grinding may be related to chronic headaches! I have been recommending a small oral appliance called NTI – TSS (nocioceptive trigeminal intervention - tension suppression system) to help alleviate pain from chronic migraines for over a decade now ! It is the only non- drug approved by the FDA for help with migraine pain

Thank you,
Dr J
Yes and you should have a night guard
Yes, it can absolutely be related.

Jossi Stokes, DDS
Grinding your teeth can be a sign of a much more serious problem . While grinding can cause headache, muscle pain it usually is a sign that you may have sleep apnea. I would recommend to have a sleep study done to rule out sleep apnea
Yes, called Bruxism, TMJ
Possibly. See if you can: 1) before going to sleep lips together and teeth apart a few times or 2) See your dentist for a night guard to prevent damage to your teeth ) if headaches persist, see your MD or a neurologist
It is possible that this is contributing to your headaches. If your headaches tend to be in the early mornings, more common while stressed, in the area of your ear or above your eye, and if your jaw becomes tired easily while chewing meals there could be a strong correlation here. There are several nightguards which have the potential to provide a lot of comfort if it is the cause of your headache. I recommend seeing your dental professional for evaluation.
Yes, indeed. There is correlation between tension type of headaches and bruxism or grinding teeth while asleep due to the formation of trigger points in the muscles of mastication and the other muscles of head and neck. Consider having a night guard (lab design) ordered by your dentist, not an over-the-counter one.
Yes, it is possible to wake up with a headache if you grind your teeth at night. Look into getting a mouthguard professionally made by your dentist. I recommend the hard/soft combo mouthguard for your lower teeth. I have gotten very good results with this appliance, and I have patients who swear by it! It may also improve the quality of your sleep.
Teeth grinding absolutely can cause headaches because muscles are involved in the grinding and if you grind too much, then you will fatigue the muscles. Fatigued muscles can be painful. You should get an occlusal equilibration from someone who has advanced training in "Occlusion".
Yes, in many cases, tooth grinding does cause headaches.