Headache

Many people suffer from headache, but few realise that the teeth or the bite may be the reason behind it.

Headache can be caused by:

Grinding/clenching

The headache caused by grinding or clenching the teeth is usually a tension headache.

Grinding often happens during sleep and may last for hours, putting a lot of pressure on the muscles around the jaw, forehead, scalp, neck and shoulders. As a result, these tense muscles may cause tension headache the following day.

Whether the affected person is aware or unaware of grinding during sleep, he/she may not relate it to the tension headache. This condition may even go undetected for years.

People usually visit their doctor regarding tension headache, but are then referred to their dentist once the grinding is established as the cause of the headache.

In many cases, the connection between grinding and tension headache is pointed out by the dentist during a routine visit.  

Once the grinding is treated by your dentist, the tension headache disappears. 

The bite (occlusion)

Tension headache can also be caused by the bite (occlusion).

If you lose your back teeth (molars), the stability of the bite might be compromised putting strain on the muscles around the temporomandibular joint (the jaw joint situated in front of the ear). This can later lead to joint ache and headache.

Other malocclusions (abnormal bites) can cause similar problems.

Consult your dentist for the best advice on how to restore your bite.

Other causes for teeth-related headaches

  • A decayed tooth.
  • An infected tooth.
  • Wisdom teeth.
  • A high filling or a high crown.