I have bruxism. Could it explain my headaches?
Bruxism is repetitive stereotypical teeth grinding and clenching. If occurring during sleep, it is associated with sleep arousal activity. Diagnosis is often based on reported history of tooth-grinding sounds during sleep, morning jaw muscle pain and stiffness, masseter muscle enlargement and teeth wear/damage.
Bruxism may cause facial pain and headache. The headache may be related to damage of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and myofascial pain (pain originating in tense muscles). Headaches and migraines are very common, and TMJ problems as well. It is not always easy to determine if headaches are really linked to TMJ problems. It is recommended to seek advice from a specialized dentist or a maxillo-facial surgeon.
Bruxism and TMJ disorders can be managed. Education, physical therapy including the use of oral devices, cognitive behavioral therapy, and pharmacological treatments including muscle relaxants and botulinum toxins are used to treat temporomandibular disease.