Teeth grinding or bruxism and migraines might be an unlikely combo. After all, how can a behavioral problem lead to a complex neurological condition? As it turns out, teeth grinding can trigger migraine attacks and headaches. Many patients who seek a chiropractor for migraines have reported bruxism as their episode’s key trigger. But how does it all happen? How can teeth grinding trigger a crippling migraine episode? Learn about their connection and how you can manage both health complaints with C1 and C2 bone adjustments.
Jaw Clenching and Headaches
One out of three people in the US suffers from bruxism or teeth grinding. Some experience it when they feel stressed. On the one hand, others develop the condition because of sleep apnea, crooked teeth, and misaligned jaws. Generally, bruxism doesn’t pose risks for people who experience it. But, if it happens frequently, it can damage the teeth and become a migraine episode trigger. Here’s a closer look at why that happens:
- The pressure from grinding teeth can amount to about 250 pounds.
- The force from your clenched jaw can spread to your teeth, gums, and nearby nerves, muscles, and connective tissues.
- It can also affect the neck bones and muscles, making you vulnerable to cervical spine misalignments and migraine attacks.
Bruxism Risk Factors
Besides providing neck adjustments, every chiropractor for migraines often reminds their patients to manage their risk factors and avoid migraine triggers. So, chances are if you have teeth bruxism, your go-to upper cervical doctor will also discuss with you the different risk factors for teeth grinding, including:
Stress and other intense feelings
Anger, frustration, and anxiety trigger or aggravate teeth grinding. So dental healthcare professionals strongly recommend practicing relaxation techniques to curb the behavior.
Bruxism tends to develop early in life because kids have difficulty expressing their feelings. Then, as they grow old, the behavior gradually goes away.
Teeth grinding can sometimes result from taking psychiatric drugs or medicines that contain caffeine.
People who have relatives suffering from bruxism tend to develop the same problem at some point in their life.
Pre-existing conditions that cause teeth grinding
Some diseases and disorders can trigger sleep and awake bruxism. Examples include ADHD, Parkinson’s disease, GERD, and epilepsy.
Other Tips to Lessen Your Migraine’s Severity
Besides bruxism, other factors can aggravate or trigger a migraine attack. So, it would help if you knew about them and how to work around them. If you don’t have the slightest clue, we suggest going through our list of tips for migraine relief below.
Steer clear from food triggers
Several studies have proven that certain food products aggravate a migraine attack. Some examples of these food items include sourdough bread, cultured dairy products, nut butter, soy-based products, tomatoes, sauerkraut, aged cheese, and processed meat.
Never skip meals
Skipping meals can cause your blood sugar levels to plummet. When this happens, your brain fails to get enough nourishment, and you might suffer from a severe bout of headaches. We recommend eating light snacks like fruits, nuts, and sandwiches if you expect a busy day. This way, you can still get enough nourishment until you grab a meal.
Massage your jaws
A quick and gentle massage on your mandibular joints can ease muscle tension in your jaws. So, we highly recommend doing this for at least three minutes. You can also apply relaxing massage oils like sesame seed oil to reduce inflammation and muscle tenderness.
Take medications for migraines
Medications for migraines can provide quick relief, especially during hectic days. Some medications, such as beta-blockers and anticonvulsants, can even prevent attacks. Talk to your physician to know what drugs might help you improve your condition.
Stretch your neck
A stiff and painful neck can contribute to a migraine attack. So, it’s good practice to schedule regular neck stretching exercises to ease the muscles and joints. It will also help prevent cervical subluxation, a critical problem solved by a chiropractor for migraines.
Have your cervical spine checked
As we have mentioned above, the misaligned cervical spine can contribute to the development of chronic migraine attacks. That’s why it’s crucial to have your neck bones checked by a chiropractic doctor from time to time. Suppose you have postural problems due to degenerative disc diseases, a history of neck trauma, or cervical muscle and joint injury. In that case, we suggest scheduling a visit to your favorite neck chiropractor.
Book Your Appointment with a Chiropractor for Migraines
Your upper neck bones – the C1 and C2 bones – are prone to subluxation due to their structure and design. As a result, even the slightest force from repetitive work can push the neck bones out of place. Consequently, the bones can impede brainstem functions like regulating sleep patterns, breathing rate, and digestion.
Thankfully, you can restore your neck bones to their proper places with upper cervical care. This lets you keep your head aligned to your body’s central axis and prevent undue mechanical pressure on the spinal column.
Many patients suffering from chronic migraine headaches triggered by bruxism managed to improve their symptoms after receiving neck adjustments. So, if you have failed to see results from other remedies, this may be a good option for you.
Start seeing changes in your migraine symptoms by having your neck adjusted by a chiropractor for migraines. Find the nearest upper cervical chiropractic practice today!