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020 85672235 or 020 85793578
The Ealing Dental Practice,
6 Drayton Green Road, West Ealing,

Headaches and clenching and grinding of your teeth

Jaw clenching (bruxism) during sleep is a major trigger for many people with migraine and tension headaches.
You may wake up in the morning with a stiff jaw or tenderness when you bite together. This could be due to clenching or grinding your teeth in your sleep. Most people who grind their teeth do it while they are asleep and may not know they are doing it.

If you suffer from severe headaches, or neck and shoulder pain, you may not have linked this with possible jaw problems. Or you may keep having pain or discomfort on the side of your face around your ears or jaw joints or difficulty in moving your jaw. These are all symptoms of problems caused by night grinding or bruxism.

Clenching and grinding can also cause excessive and unnecessary damage to your teeth.
Over time this can lead to your teeth “wearing away” and the only remedy in some cases is complex restorative dentistry to build the teeth back using crowns and veneers.

Up to 1 in 4 people may have some symptoms.

Many people have imperfect occlusion and missing teeth, yet never have symptoms because they adjust to their problems. Occasionally, in times of increased stress and tension, the symptoms may appear and then go away immediately. As well as flattened or worn teeth you may notice:

  • broken teeth, fillings and crowns
  • loose teeth
  • continual sensitivity of your teeth to temperature change
  • toothache with no apparent cause.

Treatment for grinding can take various forms. For people who grind their teeth during the day or bite their nails or chew pen lids, the simple answer is to change this pattern of behaviour but in the case of night grinding or bruxism a patient may require a bite guard which is worn during sleep. This stops the teeth grinding together and also brings about relaxation in the muscles that become tender as a result of bruxing.

Moulded to your unique dental impression, a MyoHealth™ Clenching Inhibitor (MCI) is very comfortable to wear and can reduce clenching intensity by 70%.