Bruxism could be causing your headaches
- Posted on: Jun 15 2017
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Around 10% of the U.S. population suffers from bruxism. Bruxism is a habit characterized by teeth grinding, clenching, or gritting that can lead to headaches, earaches and jaw pain. If left untreated, bruxism can have lasting effects on your dental health.
What causes Bruxism?
Bruxism can result from an uneven alignment between the upper and lower teeth, but research shows that it is often the result of deeper physical or psychological issues. Studies demonstrate that 70% of bruxism cases are due to anxiety and stress. Factors like a bad day at work, family challenges, or other stressors can play a role in teeth grinding. Aggressive, angry, or hyperactive personality types may be more prone to bruxism. Bruxism can also be a side effect of certain psychiatric medications like anti depressants. In some cases, sleep apnea or acid reflux is to blame.
How to treat Bruxism
If you wake up in the morning with chronic headaches due to Bruxism, what kind of relief is available? First, schedule a consultation with your dentist to determine if you have bruxism. Before your appointment, make a list of any symptoms you have related to bruxism. These could include earaches, headaches, jaw pain, or worn down teeth. Also, take note of any medications you are currently taking as well as any life events that may have caused undue stress. This information will help your dentist develop the best treatment plan to help alleviate the pain associated with bruxism. The following are specific treatment options that your dentist may suggest:
- Reducing stress: Consider what aspects of your life are causing you stress and determine how to resolve or step back from anxiety-inducing situations.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol: These beverages automatically make you more hyperactive and jumpy, which can make your body respond by clenching the teeth.
- Stop chewing gum: If your goal is to relax the jaw muscles, drop the gum habit. Chewing gum can incite bruxism by implanting grinding and clenching into your muscle memory.
- Wear a mouth guard: Wearing a mouth guard at night can protect the teeth.
To find out if your headaches are caused by bruxism, contact Dr. Robert D. Bankhardt today for a consultation. Call us at 805-584-1194. We look forward to helping you achieve your dental goals.
Posted in: Bruxism