How is Jaw Tension Linked to Migraines?

By September 4, 2014 August 26th, 2015 Jaw Tension, Neuromuscular Dentistry
Over 45 million Americans regularly get headaches, with 28 million of them suffering migraines. That’s a lot of people who have to cope with extreme discomfort at any one time.

People who grind their teeth or clench their jaw have been linked to higher cases of migraine. The link between jaw tension and headaches has been around for a while and it’s already an established part of holistic dentistry. This is an issue that can easily be rectified by the right treatment.

If you’re experiencing more headaches than usual or have started having migraines, this could be why. Of course, dental issues are only one possible cause of migraine, but a prevalent one nonetheless.

Of those who suffer from migraine:

  • 60 percent suffer one-sided migraine
  • 80 percent suffer nausea but only 30 percent are actually sick
  • 80 percent of migraine sufferers are sensitive to light and noise
  • 45 percent suffer from nasal congestion

Jaw tension and migraine

It is believed that jaw tension from stress and teeth grinding (bruxism) is a trigger for headaches. Most people who display these symptoms are unaware they are doing it. Often, teeth grinding happens when we’re asleep, so we remain unaware unless someone alerts us to it.

The same for jaw tension. We can clench our jaw unconsciously when stressed, which can turn into a habit causing migraines in the worst cases. While bruxism can cause headaches, it also prematurely wears teeth causing other dental issues. Fortunately, there are dental procedures that can help.

One such treatment is a neuromuscular orthotic. It looks a bit like a gum shield that is molded to your teeth. This splint keeps your teeth apart to prevent wear and can also realign your jaw if there are any alignment issues. It’s a very effective remedy for certain conditions and has been linked with a reduction in headaches and migraine with users.

As well as treating the symptoms, the team at Aesthetic Family Dentistry is keen to identify and treat the cause of jaw tension. As it is often stress related, we have a range of therapies that can help including massage and acupuncture. Both are known to relax muscles and address stress.

This combined approach is a very effective treatment for dental-related migraine. If you would like to know more, contact Aesthetic Family Dentistry today.