Headaches Caused By Jaw Clenching: Reasons And Cure

Patients IZ, M.D


Headache From Clenching Jaw


Headache From Clenching Jaw is not something you have to ignore, because it can also result in severe discomfort.

When someone who suffers from bruxism clenches or grinds their teeth, the stress that is caused radiates out and up into the head and neck.

The stress causes a headache as well as aching muscles in the face, head, and neck.

The most prevalent cause of teeth grinding is stress and anxiety. sleep disorders including sleep apnea and snoring.


Using certain medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a kind of antidepressant (SSRIs), can help relieve this discomfort.

Please read this article carefully to the end, because we included some helpful tips to help you relieve this discomfort.


Headache From Clenching Jaw

Headache From Clenching Jaw

Headaches can have reasons other than underlying illness. Lack of sleep, an inaccurate eyeglass prescription, stress, loud noise exposure, or tight headwear are all examples.

When a person clamps down on their teeth and locks the muscles in their jaw, they are said to be “teeth clenching.”

Due to the force during the clenching of your jaw, it causes pain, which then transmits to the skull and leads to headaches.

However, when you grind or clench your teeth, your jaw muscles contract and cause discomfort. The discomfort from your clenched jaw then transfers to other parts of your skull, creating headaches or migraines.

The unconscious acts of clenching and grinding your teeth can frequently result in headaches.

Headaches can be brought on by stress, sinus issues, and even the common cold. You could be having bruxism if you frequently get headaches or jaw discomfort.

While a person clenches their jaw or grinds their teeth when they are not chewing, it is known as bruxism, a medical disorder. Both adults and children can be affected by this condition, which can happen day or night.

Additional Information:

People who grind their teeth as they sleep are more likely to snore and experience breathing pauses than those who don’t (sleep apnea). The NHS classifies sleep bruxism as a movement problem associated with sleep.

Treatment may not be necessary for mild bruxism, but in some persons it can be severe enough to harm their teeth or jawbones.

Identifying the symptoms and warning signs of bruxism is essential, as well getting regular dental treatment if you have the disease.



Symptoms Of Bruxism

Symptoms Of Bruxism May Include:

  • Teeth Clenching Or Grinding

  • Pain Or Sensitivity In The Teeth

  • Jaw Muscles That Are Tired Or Stiff, Or A Locked Jaw That Will Not Open Or Close Fully

  • A Dull Headache That Begins In The Temples

  • Soreness Or Discomfort In The Jaw, Neck, Or Face

  • Damage From Chewing On The Inside Of Your Cheek


Main Causes Of Bruxism (Clenching Jaw)

  • Stress

Stress is defined as a state of emotional or physical pressure. It can be triggered by any incident or idea that causes you to feel dissatisfied, furious, or anxious. When your body reacts to a challenge or demand, it’s known as stress.

Whether we like it or not, our bodies react to stress. The “fight or flight” response, a complex combination of neurologic and endocrinologic systems, can be triggered by stress.

Internal sources of stress might include disease or a medical treatment.

Bruxism is a physical response to dealing with constant mental stress.

The psychological element is linked to sadness, anxiety, and emotional stress, and it plays a significant role in the onset and maintenance of bruxism, as well as its frequency and intensity.

People who tend to have competitive, challenging, rushed dispositions, conceal their feelings of irritation and rage, and build up nervous tension are more likely to grind their teeth.

  • The Use Of Recreational Drugs

Unrestricted use of both legal and illicit substances is referred to as using “recreational drugs.”

Recreational drugs may be divided into four categories: analgesics, depressants, stimulants, and hallucinogens. Narcotics like heroin, morphine, fentanyl, and codeine are examples of analgesics.

Ecstasy, cocaine, methamphetamine (meth), and heroin all include stimulants that make bruxism more common. These substances stimulate the central nervous system.

The brain’s neurotransmitters serve as the foundation for their method of action. Neuronal transmitters are important for hormone control, learning, memory, and physical movement.

They also cause motor abnormalities that lead to bruxism. In terms of severe awake and sleep bruxism, ecstasy causes the most worry.


Regular use of these medicines can cause significant attrition in a short period of time, resulting in long-term nervous system damage.

  • Alcohol

A drink that includes ethanol, a form of alcohol that functions as a narcotic and is made by fermenting grains, fruits, or other sources of sugar, is referred to as an alcoholic beverage.

Drinking, or the use of alcoholic beverages, is a social activity that is significant in many cultures.

Alcohol can change how the brain functions and appears by interfering with the brain’s communication networks.

In addition to altering mood and behavior, these disturbances can also make it more difficult to think properly and move with coordination.

A person’s muscles may become hyperactive and their teeth may grind if they drink alcohol before bed, which increases their chance of developing sleep bruxism.

After drinking alcohol, bruxing often becomes more severe. Alcohol has a history of disrupting sleep cycles and boosting arousal sleep.

  • Caffeine

In the methylxanthine class of stimulants, caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. It is used to improve cognitive function by raising alertness and attentional capacity.

By preventing adenosine from attaching to the adenosine A1 receptor, caffeine increases the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

Caffeine is a stimulant that can encourage muscular activity and lead to repeated nighttime awakenings.

Caffeinated beverages, such as soda or high energy drinks, should not be consumed in excess of six cups per day to reduce the risk of bruxism.

High caffeine intake can cause your mood to fluctuate, leaving you wanting more to bring it back up. This can lead to sleep loss, negative health effects, and an increase in stress.


How Does Clenched Jaw Headache Feel Like?

These headaches may feel like any other headache or a tension headache, but they usually develop and reoccur in one or more areas of the head and/or face.

You may also have face tightness/pain, as well as jaw tightness/pain/clicking. You may also notice a difference in your bite.


These muscles are linked to the cheekbones and the area under your chin. When someone who suffers from bruxism clenches or grinds their teeth, the stress that is caused radiates out and up into the head and neck.

The stress causes a headache as well as aching muscles in the face, head, neck, and shoulders.

The discomfort may be caused by a variety of the TMJ muscles that are found on the top and sides of the head, in the cheeks, and beneath the jaw.


What Condition Does Clenching Jaw Indicate?

Headache From Clenching Jaw

Stress and anxiety are two common emotional problems that lead to jaw clenching.

These emotions frequently manifest as muscle tension, which might manifest as a persistent jaw clenching that can have negative health effects.

There are other symptoms than teeth grinding and jaw clenching, such as face, neck, and shoulder discomfort.

An uncomfortable jaw can result in temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD), and worn-down or fractured teeth might become more sensitive and lose their fillings or teeth altogether.

Jaw tightness can be caused by a variety of factors, including drug-induced inflammation, trauma damage, and misplaced teeth.

Overexertion, such as eating too much or clenching and grinding teeth while sleeping, can also cause the jaw to tighten.

Nighttime teeth grinding and clenching (nocturnal bruxism) is classified as a sleep disturbance.

Bruxism throughout the day, on the other hand, is typically linked with clenching rather than grinding. Which is frequently associated with anxiousness.


What Tends To Happen If You Clench Your Jaws Too Tightly?

Jaw clenching and grinding can cause a variety of issues, including tooth wear and tear, temperature sensitivity, chipped, cracked, or lost teeth.


Teeth ache is normal, especially right after waking up. TMJ inflammation and discomfort, resulting in Temporomandibular joint disease (TMD).

You may also have painful jaw muscles in the morning, as well as clicking or popping noises produced by your TMJ being out of position.

Clenching and grinding are commonly characterized by aching and/or stiffness of the face and temples, particularly after getting up, eating, and talking.

Overuse of the muscles around the jaw causes headaches, shoulder discomfort, and neck pain. Biting develops raised tissue on the inside of the cheek.

Additional Information:

Some people grind their teeth when they are nervous, upset, or trying to concentrate. 

Other variables that might contribute to bruxism include genetics, personality characteristics, and environmental stimuli including smoking, coffee, alcohol, and certain medicines.

Teeth clenching and grinding are also prevalent in youngsters, although it is generally transient and most children outgrow it by the time they reach their adolescence.


How Can I Stop Clenching My Jaw When I Sleep?

Make use of Mouthguards.

To stop teeth grinding, mouthguards, sometimes known as night guards or dental splints, are worn while you sleep.

These mouthpieces maintain the jaw in a particular posture and/or act as a barrier to lessen the risk of teeth grinding causing injury.

A dentist may customize mouthguards so that they fit your mouth perfectly. They can lessen the effects of bruxism, lessen tooth wear and tear, lessen morning headaches, and enhance sleep.

Some mouthguards also gently expand the jaw, which helps the masseter muscles (the muscles used for chewing) to relax throughout the night.


If you observe that you are clenching or grinding your teeth during the day, please place the tip of your tongue between your teeth.

This exercise teaches your jaw muscles to relax. At night, relax your jaw muscles by placing a warm towel against your face in front of your earlobe.

Quick Note:

About 15% to 33% of children grind their teeth, and the majority do it at night rather than during the day.

Improperly positioned teeth or abnormal contact between upper and lower teeth, diseases, and other medical disorders can all contribute to teeth grinding.

After their permanent teeth grow in, most youngsters lose the tendency of teeth grinding.


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What Exactly Is A Tmj Headache?

A TMJ headache is discomfort in the face, cheeks, and head brought on by a TMJ condition.

Pain from this condition radiates upward to various parts of the head from the temporomandibular joint, which links the jaw to the skull.

When your jaw muscles get stiff, like when you grind your teeth, a headache can result. The discomfort may also migrate to other TMJ muscles next to your cheekbones, on the sides of your head, and on top of your head.

Another cause of TMJ headaches is osteoarthritis, joint hypermobility, or osteoporosis-related TMJ problems.

TMJ frequently causes a tight, agonizing headache that is dull in nature. Although it can be on both sides, it is more frequently on one.

Usually, the side with the worst TMJ has a severe condition. Jaw movement aggravates the headache, while jaw relaxation alleviates it.

Finding the source of a headache’s symptoms and taking preventative measures can both be accomplished by speaking with your doctor.


TMJ headaches are terrible, but depending on the individual and the type of discomfort, they may be addressed by a number of methods. Consult your doctor about your symptoms if you frequently get tension or migraine headaches.


Tmj Headache: How Bad Is It?

Headache From Clenching Jaw

Sometimes, TMJ discomfort might become very severe.

While it could initially just feel a bit painful in the temples or pop when you yawn, it can gradually worsen into chronic headaches, trouble swallowing, and irreversible tooth damage.

Your jaw and cheeks are surrounded by TMJ muscles, which may produce discomfort, including headaches.

When your jaw muscles get stiff, like when you grind your teeth, a headache can result. The discomfort may also migrate to other TMJ muscles next to your cheekbones, on the sides of your head, and on top of your head.

One of the main causes of TMJ flare-ups is stress. Stress frequently results in teeth grinding or clenching, which can make TMJ symptoms worse.

Eating foods that are hard, crunchy, or chewy, such raw carrots and bagels, is another prominent trigger. Painful symptoms may start as a result of trauma or injury to the jaw.

TMJ headache can be caused by poor posture, which can push your lower jaw forward and impair the regular action of your jaw muscles.


Do Tmj Headaches Go Away?

In general, TMJ problems and headaches do not go away on their own.

Short-term usage of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) help lessen headache and jaw discomfort associated with TMJ.

Aspirin (Excedrin), ibuprofen (Advil), and naproxen are included in this (Aleve). You can also relieve pain by icing your jaw.

TMJ flare-ups can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. TMJ disorders can become chronic and incapacitating if left untreated.


The duration of TMJ flare-ups varies from individual to person.

Depending on the underlying reason and whether any therapy is being used, each case is unique.

If lifestyle adjustments and over-the-counter drugs aren’t alleviating your symptoms, consult your doctor.

They might be able to give stronger drugs or propose a stabilizing splint (bite guard). Splints are a frequent TMJ therapy.

Although they protect your teeth if you grind them, they haven’t been demonstrated definitively to reduce discomfort.


How Can I Treat Headaches Caused By Jaw Clenching?

Headache From Clenching Jaw

Short-term usage of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) help lessen headache and jaw discomfort associated with TMJ.

Ibuprofen and aspirin (Excedrin) fall within this category. You can also get pain relief by icing your jaw.

A neural system problem called bruxism makes a person experience discomfort, nausea, and jaw clenching throughout the day and night in the same individual.

Somatic symptoms, despite the lack of a physical source, are genuine and not made up. Studies have revealed that the heightened levels of anxiety and psychosomatic discomfort that accompany bruxism might make treatment challenging.

Quick Note:

Good sleep hygiene is frequently the first step in treating nighttime clenching and grinding. Limiting caffeine, smoking, and alcohol use at night are examples of this.

Before going to bed, lowering your physical and mental activities might also help. The bedroom ought to be silent and dark. The quality of your sleep may suffer if you have a TV or other stimulating electronics in your bedroom.

A mouth guard is also among the effective remedies for relieving the stress caused by constant jaw clenching and grinding. A custom mouth guard is a more comfortable and effective solution.



Final Concepts

Please take note that TMJ condition and bruxism disorder, can also cause Headache From Clenching Jaw or teeth grinding.

Although there is no treatment to entirely eliminate teeth grinding or Clenching Jaw, however, it’s  possible to minimize its frequency, lessen its effects, and alleviate symptoms with treatment.

Muscle relaxants can aid in the relaxation of the jaw and the cessation of nightly grinding.

For example, if you use some antidepressants that increase your risk of your teeth grinding, please speak with your doctor. He/She may change your prescription to a better option.

If you have persistence discomfort as a result of Clenching Jaw or teeth grinding, please we highly recommend you to see your doctor.

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