Individuals that suffer with frequent headaches should pursue their origin. Your dentist is a good place to start. Chances are you may be due for your six month check-up so you can accomplish this important task at the same time.

Headaches, jaw pain, neck discomfort … these are possible signals that the source could be due to teeth grinding and jaw clenching. Patients often initiate teeth grinding subconsciously during periods of sleep. This act can occur for several reasons.

Adults that deal with daily stressors often grind and clench. And the things we stress about are sometimes common and unavoidable such as work, school, family, finances, and the things we must do to deal with them such as commuter traffic or not enough time in the day to complete tasks.

Although you might not be able to eliminate the root causes that produce stress, there are steps you can take to limit the side effects. In addition to things like counseling, your dentist may recommend the use of a night guard.

A night guard that is designed especially for you can comfortably and effectively relieve the habit of teeth grinding and jaw clenching while you sleep. When this habit acquired during sleep is eliminated, the daytime habit you have probably adopted should subside as well.

It’s not just stress that can result in teeth grinding and clenching. A malocclusion is a condition where the top teeth do not properly align with the bottom teeth. When biting down the teeth slip off each other instead of making solid contact. This could also promote grinding and clenching.

TMJ disorder is another condition that can result in headache. TMJ is an acronym for temporomandibular joint. This joint is located where the jawbone and skull intersect. Every time you open or close your mouth to eat, speak, smile, cough, or yawn … any of these actions can lead to discomfort. Although this ache is focused primarily in the face, neck, or jaw, it can lead to head pain too.

Once a diagnosis has been rendered, the likelihood of finding relief through the use of a mouth guard is very high. Your dentist will work with you to find the material and model that will provide the optimum fit and functionality to provide relief.

To learn more or to schedule your next visit, contact Anderson Dentistry at either of our convenient locations.