Morning Headaches from my Teeth?

what can be done about it?

Doctor Answers 8

Morning headache from the teeth

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Morning headache can be the first symptom of increased spastic activity of masticatory muscles and bruxism. It can be corrected with nightguard. The disocclusion of the teeth prevent spasmatic activity of the muscles and protect enamel from the wear. If the symptoms will still exist you will benefit from consult with TMJ specialist. Consult with your dentist about getting the nightguard

Nightguards can help with morning headaches

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The common experience of morning headaches is usually due to an improper bite.  The first approach is to make something (anything) to fit between the teeth, worn at night.  10% of the population can be helped with anything, so if you are one of them, then you are done.  If not, then a more precise device should be created and an increased cost.

Morning Headaches could be a dental problem

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Actually your morning headaches could be happening because your bite is off.  If your bite is off, many times you will grind your teeth unknowingly at night and wake up in the morning with a headache. Many people have problems with their bite but are asymptomatic.  TMJ causes tension and vascular headaches because of the constant muscle tightness. If your are experiencing this problem. make an appointment with your dentist and let him check to see if your bite is off and see if it can be corrected.  We use a product in our practice called  The Best Bite Discluder which will tell you if your bite is off immediately.  Also we recommend you wear a bite guard or night guard at night to protect your teeth if there is a chance you are grinding them at night.

Robert Fields, DDS
Van Nuys Dentist

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Morning headaches

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Morning headaches could be the result of grinding your teeth during the night. The most common treatment is wearing the nightguard.
Dr. Barba

Antoaneta Barba, DDS
Santa Ana Dentist

See your dentist.

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Please see your dentist for an evaluation.  If you are waking up with  headaches,  you may be clenching or grinding your teeth through the night.  A nightgaurd, fitted by your dentist, could be a good preventative tool for you.  A nightgaurd would help keep the muscles more relaxed, and protect your teeth and any restorations in your mouth from cracking or breaking.

Kimberly Johnson Genc, DDS
Newport Beach Dentist

Help for your morning headaches.

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It is very likely that morning headaches are the result of night time grinding from the bite being out of harmony with the bones, muscles, and joints. A thorough analysis will determine the best approach to bringing them back into harmony. 

Mickey Bernstein, DDS
Memphis Dentist

A nightgaurd can help with headaches

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When I have patients that suffer from headaches I start by making them a nightgaurd. This is piece of hard plastic that fits on their upper teeth.  There are two kinds to consider. One covers all of the biting surfaces of the upper teeth with plastic.  Your lower teeth hit the plastic when you bite down.  We use the plastic to create a level bite, which can help your biting muscles relax.

The second kind only covers the front upper teeth with plastic.  When you bite down, your lower front teeth hit that plastic.  Your back teeth do not touch anything.  By only biting on your front teeth you cannot create the same amount of force on your back teeth and the same amount of stress on your biting muscles.

You can try this by simply biting down on your back teeth, in your normal bite, and squeezing.  Feel how much pressure you can apply.  Feel the muscles on the sides of your forehead flex.  Now, slide your lower jaw forward and bite only on the edges of your front teeth, like you are going to bite your nail.  Feel the decreased amount of force you can apply to your teeth and feel how the forehead muscle don't flex as much.

In many cases, when you are not clenching on your back teeth for hours at night, the headaches, tooth sensitivity, and tension will go away.

Jason Fligor, DDS
Seattle Dentist

The headache problem is due to your bite, not your teeth

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When you wake up in the morning with headaches that seem to ease up over the course of the day, it could very well be from your teeth. Actually, it is not from a problem with a tooth or your teeth, but your bite, or as we dentists say, your occlusion.

Everyone tries to have as many teeth touch one another when we close our mouths. In order to do this, we will thrust our jaw in whatever direction necessary to have as many teeth as possible meet. However, in doing this we can place a strain on the muscles that control our bite. The major muscles that control our bite are the Anterior Temporalis (On the side of your forehead above your eyes.), the Masseters (Your cheek muscles), The Posterior Temporalis (Behind you ears), and the Digastrics (Below the lower jaw).

When these muscles are stressed we often see many of the following symptoms: headaches, pain in the area in front of the ears, popping or clicking on opening or closing, an inability to open the mouth completely, ear congestion with fullness or pressure in the ears, dizziness, ringing in the ears, difficulty in swallowing, sensitive teeth, clenching or grinding, facial pain, neck pain, postural problems, pain in the temples, pain in the forehead, pain in the shoulder, tingling in the fingertips, and nervousness or insomnia. We may also see worn or chipped teeth, usually due to grinding. It is also possible to see worn and/or chipped teeth and postural problems without any of the above symptoms. Some people will have almost all of these symptoms; some people have only a few of them. It varies greatly.

Having a bad bite is like carrying around a 50 pound bag of sand within you. Some people are able to carry that weight without any problems because of a lot of things: genetics, diet, attitude, exercise, fitness, luck, and probably a hundred other things we don’t understand yet. Some carry it around and are visibly struggling a little because their muscles are sore. Some struggle more and limp along and get persistent pain, and some get all sorts of symptoms that increase slowly until suddenly they drop that 50 pound bag and then everything goes haywire.

By fixing the bite we can reduce the size of the bag to the point where it is either empty or so small it doesn’t matter any more.

We can usually eliminate these morning headaches by correcting your bite. Whether or not we need to do this will depend upon how these headaches are affecting the quality of your life. Ask us how we can help you to a pain free future.

Ronald Rosenblatt, DDS
Beverly Hills Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.