Headaches and oral health

Approximately one out of every six Americans complains of headaches every year. This prevalent medical ailment can be caused by stress, sinus pressure, lifestyle factors, or other reasons. Another often overlooked factor is the connection between oral health and persistent headaches.  

Here’s some of the ways your dental health might be contributing to your headaches, along with some preventative measure you can take to relieve the pressure.  

Bruxism (Teeth Grinding) 

Bruxism, the habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, often occurs unconsciously during sleep. This constant pressure on the teeth and jaw muscles can lead to tension headaches. Your dentist should be able to identify signs of bruxism and recommend solutions like a custom night guard to alleviate the strain on your jaw. 

Teeth grinding and jaw pressure are often associated with high stress levels. You can help alleviate this by incorporating healthy stress management skills into your daily life. Try meditation, regular exercise, calming teas and taking time to do things you enjoy. 

Jaw misalignment 

If your jaw isn’t properly aligned, it can result in an uneven distribution of pressure, leading to muscle tension and headaches. Your dentist can assess your jaw alignment and suggest orthodontic treatments or other interventions to correct any issues. 

Wisdom teeth and toothaches 

Misaligned wisdom teeth can trigger long-lasting headaches as they crowd the rest of your teeth and put pressure on your jaw. By visiting your dentist regularly, they will be able to track the development of wisdom teeth and determine if surgery is the right option for you. 

Toothaches could also be a contributing factor to your headache. Tooth decay, misaligned teeth and gum disease are all reasons for your potential toothache. You help prevent this by practicing good hygiene, flossing and brushing your teeth regularly, and scheduling routine dental check-ups. 

Pro tip: Never forget the importance of hydration! Dehydration can lead to headaches and can negatively impact your oral health, which is why it’s important to drink water throughout the day and after meals. 

If you’re experiencing persistent headaches and suspect dental issues may be the cause, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist for a comprehensive examination.  Your dentist will be able to help you develop a plan for a healthier, headache-free life.  

Schedule an appointment with Jackson Dental today by calling (573) 243-5200 or stopping by our office at 3100 E Jackson Blvd., Jackson, Mo.