Do you wake up every morning with a headache or pain in your jaw? Are you hearing a clicking sound in your jaw? Do you suffer from headaches throughout the day? While a variety of different conditions can contribute to headaches, regular headaches may have more to do with your oral health than you would think. Regular teeth grinding and clenching stress out the muscles in your face and neck, increasing the tension, and often leading to headaches and pain.
Understanding Your Facial Structure
To better understand how your teeth might be at the root of your headaches, let’s look at your facial structure and what teeth grinding does. When it comes to moving your jaw, there are four major muscles that contribute. The masseter is the most powerful muscle associated with jaw movement and works to elevate the jaw and helps close the mouth. The temporalis muscle works to elevate and retract the jaw. The lateral pterygoid helps with lateral movement and the opening of the jaw while the medial pterygoid elevates and closes the jaw, as well as plays a role in mastication, or chewing. Another crucial component is the temporomandibular joint, which is the joint between the jawbones.
These muscles and joints all play a normal role in chewing, but teeth grinding is a little different. While the movement that occurs during teeth grinding is similar to that of chewing, you have no food to cushion the force that your jaw muscles exert. And, most people don’t eat or chew all day long (though, if you chew gum on a regular basis, you can experience many of the same symptoms). When you grind your teeth throughout the night, your jaw muscles undergo continual tension and stress. And this stress and force are much greater and more exaggerated than what occurs with normal chewing. This is often the cause of your morning headaches and jaw pain. If you clench your teeth throughout the day, that force can also contribute to facial muscle pain and headaches.
Types of Headache Pain Associated with Teeth Grinding
When it comes to headaches and facial pain, teeth grinding is often the underlying culprit. In the case of headaches, the teeth grinding contributes to pain in the jaw muscles, and the jaw itself. The pain then transfers to other areas of the skull, resulting in tension headaches. In severe cases, this added tension can also contribute to migraine headaches.
You don’t have to live with daily headaches as a result of your teeth grinding. Visit SportingSmiles today to learn about our high-quality custom-fit teeth grinding guards.
In addition to tension or migraine headaches, teeth grinding and the stress it places on the jaw muscles can also contribute to pain in the temporomandibular joint, earaches, sinus headaches, neck stiffness, and even pain radiating into the shoulders. Your teeth grinding may play a bigger role in your aches and pains than you think.
How Teeth Grinding Guards Help to Minimize Headaches
The good news is you don’t have to get trapped in a cycle of never-ending headaches. There is something you can do to help reduce the force your teeth generate when grinding that will not only reduce your headaches but also help protect your teeth from grinding damage.
Teeth grinding guards, or night guards, help provide a cushion between your teeth. This helps reduce the strain placed on the muscles when you grind, as well as helps relax the muscles in your jaw.
Teeth grinding guards are similar to the guards that athletes wear during sports, but these guards are designed to simply cover the surface of the teeth. They are made to be worn for long periods of time (such as overnight during sleep) and to withstand the force of regular teeth grinding and clenching. While there are over-the-counter boil and bite options, you will achieve the best protection from a custom guard. While often done by your dentist, custom night guards can be expensive. The average cost ranging from $300 to $1,100.
At SportingSmiles, we understand how important it is to have a nightguard for teeth grinding. With our self-impression kit, we offer the same custom-fit guard you get from a dentist for under $100. Using our kit, you make a mold of your teeth and send it back to our lab. Our lab is the same as the lab your dentist sends your mold to. Except, because you make and send the mold directly to us, we are able to cut out the dentist fees. This gives you a less-expensive alternative. It’s important to note that with proper care, most teeth-grinding guards will last for 2 years before you need a replacement.
So, say goodbye to your teeth grinding headaches. Visit Teeth Grinding Guards today to find out more about our custom guards and how they can help prevent dental damage and headaches from teeth grinding.