When you get hit with onset headaches, do you feel like visiting a dentist at that point? No! That’s because most people do not see any correlation between migraines and a dentist. However, it would interest you to know that repeated migraines can be as a result of unconsciously grinding or clenching of the teeth.
Often, you engage in this habit while sleeping; thus, a lot of pressure is exerted on the muscles that control your jaw joint (temporomandibular joint).
The temporalis is a fan-like muscle found on either side of the head, and they are primarily responsible for jaw rotation. You can feel the presence of the temporalis by placing your fingertip on your temples and at the same time, clench and unclench your jaw.
When these muscles experience frequent spasms due to consistent clenching activities, headaches may result. However, you should not link all migraines to temporomandibular disorders, but, since there is a connection between them, you should not ignore the possibilities.
Sources of Relief
The first step towards relief is a comprehensive oral examination; this will help indicate whether there is any form of a clenching habit occurring, which can lead to temporomandibular disorders. After the test, if there is a correlation, then you can try out any of following steps as an initial phase to treatment.
First, try to cut down on eating hard foods to avoid exerting too much pressure on the jaws. You can also use ice/heat to reduce inflammation and soreness. Also, you can engage in mild stretching exercises, non-steroidal inflammatory drugs, and muscle calming medications.
Now, for the long-term cure, the best option is to get a customized oral nightguard. The nightguard is a piece of oral equipment that is made of plastic; it helps to minimize grinding and clenching. Therefore, consistent use of the guard will help to protect the jaw muscles, and some patients have also testified to the efficacy of the equipment in reducing their TMD-induced headaches.
Will a nightguard reduce my headache? The answer to that solely relies on the underlying cause of the trouble. That is why we recommend an initial examination to decipher the cause of the problem accurately.