Dental Issues that Can Cause Migraines

Research shows that about 14 million people in the US suffer from almost daily occurrences of migraine headaches. More than just a bad headache, this debilitating condition affects the lives of these people to the degree that they are often unable to work and their personal relationships suffer. If you experience recurrent migraines, research has also shown that your oral health can be a contributing factor to your condition, even though you might not be aware of it. Proper preventive care is essential if you want to avoid any of the conditions described below, so make sure you find a trustworthy dentist, such as Rauch Family Dentistry, for you and your family. Not only will they help you treat existing conditions, but also help you understand the risk factors of potential dental problems and help you to prevent them. Here’s a look at how dental issues can cause migraines.

Grinding Teeth. Also known as bruxism, when this happens only occasionally, it doesn’t typically cause problems. Because it often occurs while you sleep, you may not know that you have the habit of grinding your teeth. If you often wake up with a headache or a sore jaw, there’s a possibility you’re grinding your teeth while asleep. A major contributor to teeth grinding or clenching is stress and anxiety.


Malocclusion. This is the term your dentist uses to describe an improper bite or misaligned teeth. In severe cases, malocclusion can be a contributing factor to the persistent occurrence of migraine headaches because the improper bite causes the head and neck muscles to be continually tense. When they become too fatigued, they begin to spasm, thus causing a trigger for the migraine. Over half of chronic migraine sufferers have malocclusions.


Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. Commonly called TMJ or TMD, this is a disorder of the jaw muscles and nerves caused by injury or misalignment of the temporomandibular joint (the joint that allows you to open and close your mouth). Headaches caused by TMJ disorder may be on one or both sides and are usually localized to the temples. Persistent migraines, jaw pain when chewing and clicking or popping sounds are all signs of TMJ.


Everything is more difficult when you’re living with persistent pain. If you experience chronic migraine headaches, issues related to your dental health can be a contributing factor. Your Mesa dentist can give you an exam and tell you if these or any other dental issues can be causing your pain.