ZocdocAnswersCan clenching and grinding my teeth at night cause frequent headaches?

Question

Can clenching and grinding my teeth at night cause frequent headaches?

Lately I've been dealing with headaches throughout the day. I heard that I grind my teeth a lot at night. Is there a connection?

Answer

While it is hard to say exactly that your teeth grinding are the cause of your headaches, it is certainly true that having temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome can be associated with headache. Therefore, it is important for you to discuss this issue with your doctor. Some people will allow their teeth to touch frequently, which will then cause extra tension to accumulate in their facial muscles that are used to move the teeth and to chew. This tension can lead to inflammation, which causes pain, which can turn into a vicious cycle resulting in more inflammation and pain. For some, this becomes so severe that they seek surgical options to treat the damaged joint that is involved in chewing. Now, I repeat, it is hard to say that this is the cause of your headache, but it is possible that if you are grinding your teeth at night that this could be contributing. The location of your headache can also tell your doctor quite a bit about the origin of your headache, as can your family history (for example, if others in your family have had migraines it is possible that you could be having them as well). The key point is that you need to speak with a doctor. Please speak to your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.