If you have tooth pain that is causing you to develop a headache, this may have a number of causes. The most common of these are bruxism (teeth grinding) or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ/TMD). These conditions can cause strain in the jaw that can lead to pain in both the teeth and headaches. If you say “My tooth is giving me a headache?”, continue reading about the cause.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a condition where you unconsciously grind or clench your teeth. This may happen either during the day or while you sleep. If this only occurs when you sleep, you likely experience other sleep disorders as well, such as snoring or sleep apnea. If your bruxism is causing headaches, it is important that you see a dentist for treatment as soon as possible, as this condition can lead to TMJ/TMD, as well as damaging your teeth.
What is TMJ/TMD?
Your temporomandibular joints are the hinge-type joints that make opening and closing your mouth possible. These joints work together any time you chew, yawn, speak, or swallow. There are a number of conditions that can cause problems with the TMJ:
- Injury to the face or jaw
- Poor tooth and jaw alignment
Treatments for Bruxism and TMJ/TMD
The treatments for bruxism are varied and include various stress-relief techniques such as meditation and yoga. Your dentist may also give you a mouth guard to wear that will prevent you from clenching your teeth tightly as you sleep. In severe cases, you may also be prescribed a muscle relaxant in order to keep you from clenching your jaw.
There are a number of treatments for TMJ/TMD. This may include eating foods that are softer, and avoiding activities such as biting your nails or chewing gum. Your dentist may recommend that you apply heat packs to the joints a few times each day, and also perform relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation. If necessary, you may also be prescribed some medications, a night guard, and exercises to strengthen the muscles in your jaw.