TMJ and Bruxism
Temporomandibular joint disorders (called TMJ or TMD) contribute to many headaches. These headaches could be linked to muscle strain because your jaw is constantly clenching to attempt to get into a comfortable position. This can lead to tension headaches. TMJ is also linked to migraines because it impacts the trigeminal nerve, a key trigger point for migraines that also controls your jaw muscles. Watch for other TMJ symptoms like jaw soreness, tooth damage, ear pain, stuffy ears, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and vertigo.
People also clench and grind their teeth for other reasons at night. Stress, for example, might make you grind your teeth overnight, leading to painful headaches in the morning. Plus, people with sleep apnea often clench and grind their teeth to try to hold their airway open. Often an oral appliance can help hold your jaw in a comfortable position and/or protect your teeth and jaws to reduce headaches.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which your breathing stops at night. It stops long enough that your brain has to awaken at least enough to resume breathing. This can cause headaches in part because your brain is experiencing repeated incidents of oxygen deprivation as well as sleep deprivation. It might happen hundreds of times a night, preventing you from ever reaching deep, restorative sleep.
Check out symptoms of sleep apnea. If you have several of these symptoms, talk to a Columbus, OH, sleep dentist about getting tested or finding an effective, convenient treatment.