Nobody likes having a headache, so there might be nothing worse than waking up with one. If you've been waking up with headaches that slowly dissipate through the day and you don't know why, it's possible that it has something to do with your teeth. Here's what you need to know about this phenomenon.
Have you heard the term "tension headache" before? This is usually used to refer to headaches that are due to stress and anxiety. But these headaches don't tend to manifest just because you're having an emotion.
Tension headaches tend to develop because you're literally tensing muscles in your face, neck, and shoulders. Unfortunately, one type of tension headache is caused by grinding your teeth. Grinding teeth happens to a lot of people in their sleep, sometimes because of bad dreams or due to stress they were dealing with throughout the day. If you grind your teeth for long enough in your sleep, you just might wake up with a headache as a result.
Headaches aren't the only thing that you could develop as a result of grinding your teeth. In addition to damaging the teeth themselves, you could develop a condition called TMJ.
TMJ is also known as temporomandibular joint disorder. This condition is a dysfunction of the jaw joint that lets your jaw open and close. Long-term teeth grinding can damage this joint and cause problems with it, like clicking, popping, and even locking in place. So if you think you can just bear the headaches and move along, you might want to reconsider. Your teeth and jaw could suffer in the long run on top of the pain you're having now.
The good news is, help for this condition isn't hard to find. You can actually head to your local dentist's office for help.
Grinding guards are the best way to defend yourself against this condition. While you can also take steps to help relieve your stress before bedtime by doing things like enjoying a self-massage or trying to relax before resting, these aren't guarantees that you'll stop grinding. A grinding guard, on the other hand, will protect your teeth and jaw and help to reduce your headaches, without doubt.
Grinding guards can be bought in most stores, but it's best to get a custom one made for you by a dentist. Store-bought grinding guards won't necessarily fit well, which could cause them to be uncomfortable or even cause jaw problems on their own. You want something that's perfectly molded to your teeth, and that's what you'll get at your dentist's office.
Teeth grinding can cause a lot of problems in the long run, and your headache might just be the start of it. If you're tired of the pain and don't want it to get worse, consult with a dentist ASAP.
For more information, contact a resource like RTC Dental.