Are your Migraines from grinding your teeth?

Are you getting tension headaches, trouble focusing, blurred vision that lead to migraines or headaches that just won’t go away? One contributing factor towards your migraines may be coming from your mouth and jaw. When you clench your jaw or grind your teeth, you put stress on your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) that connect your mandible to your skull. Think of your mandible being compressed into your skull -the cartilage getting pushed out of the way and the head of the mandible pushing into the base of the skull. This can cause an inflammatory response which will create pressure on the brain which leads to a migraine.

Don’t think your teeth can be contributing to your migraine? If you have teeth that aren’t properly aligned where the front teeth protect the back teeth and the back teeth protect the front teeth, you are predisposed to bruxism (grinding). If you’re missing a tooth, you’re adding different stresses, like biting harder on one side of your mouth than the other, to your oral environment which can lead to bruxism. If you’re chewing gum frequently, you are putting strain on your jaw which can lead to TMJ problems which lead to bruxism.

Ask your dentist what they can do to help your reduce the frequency of your migraine! Many times it is as simple as decompression of the TMJ which can be done easily with a properly designed nightguard. There are numerous treatments associated with aiding in migraine reduction that can vary from aligning your teeth properly, so you’re utilizing both sides evenly and simultaneously, to craniofacial growth to remodel the TMJ and increase your airway to allow for physiological solutions that will improve your oral health and reduce your migraine frequency and severity. Improving your oral health can help with the migraines!

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