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Tension and Headaches

Valencia, CA

A variety of different conditions can cause tension and headaches, but one of the major ones is actually dental-related.

Some examples of what causes tension and headaches include:

Bite Misalignment
When your teeth are improperly aligned, it can cause tension in the temples due to your jaw muscles being unable to fully relax. When you don’t relax your jaw muscle enough in between biting, the excess tension in the muscles in your head creates too much lactic acid. This can build up and eventually create headaches and tension. It’s a fact that not very many people have teeth that are perfectly aligned. There’s often variation that makes it so your teeth are a bit crooked or that have some overlap.

Another reason why tension happens is because of TMJ. This is related to misalignment, and it can also make misalignment worse. One of the causes of the issue is grinding too much. You grind your teeth at night, which causes more and more misalignment throughout your life. The lack of relaxing jaw muscles creates tension in your head, just like with normal misalignment, though it can get worse and worse and cause all sorts of other problems in the process as well.


Procedures for Fixing Tension and Headaches

A mouthguard can help fix grinding and teeth wear as you chew on the actual mouthguard material rather than your teeth, as this can push them out of alignment. This approach can also help you realign your jaw by making it so that when you wear the guard the position forces your jaw back into the right alignment.

Chewing on the mouthguard instead of your actual teeth is important for helping to reduce damage to your jaw muscle and to your alignment. Once your jaw is back in alignment, your tension headaches will likely go away. This is because your muscle will actually be able to relax in between usage. This way the muscle won’t strain and your headache will eventually subside.

Other Potential Causes of Tension and Headaches

Impacted wisdom teeth can also cause tension or headaches. Wisdom teeth that grow in sideways put strain and pressure on your jaw, and depending on how badly they are impacted, they might need to be removed. This procedure is surgery, and you may need to prepare by not eating or drinking before the procedure. Without wisdom teeth extraction, your headaches will likely become worse over time until it is unbearable. At first it could feel simply like a minor tension headache.

At , we evaluate patients to see if the source of their problems is related to their teeth and bite, and offer conservative solutions to solve these problems. However, there are some cases that cannot be resolved with such solutions. In these cases, we work with other specialists that offer a range of other solutions – including surgery where appropriate.