Tension headaches and jaw clenching

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hopeful82
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2433
   Posted 1/17/2006 3:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all,
 
I visited a neurologist today about my daily headaches. Although my headaches are usually unilateral, she says that they are most likely tension-type headaches. I told her about the tenderness I get in my pericranial muscles around my temple (I posted about that a couple months back), and she said that its a result of clenching my jaw at night which overworks those muscles, leaving them sore and spastic. Apparently this is a common cause of tension headaches? So I am going to the dentist (they couldn't get me in until March, UGH) to get a bite splint to prevent me from clenching my jaw and constantly straining my muscles.
 
I would suggest this option to anyone who has tender spots around their temples, as this is sign of jaw clenching.
ali
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
 
"You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for our own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful." - Marie Curie
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Winston Churchill
 
 


LaurenKunz
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 1/25/2006 10:14 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Ali,

ya, I use one of those splints every night.  If I don't, i can guarantee i'll have a headache the next day.

The splint is definitely worth investing in.

Takes a while to get used to, but i think you will be glad to have it.

Good luck

Lauren


Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 21989
   Posted 2/1/2006 1:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Ah ha! And here I thought I was the only one that clenched their teeth at night! Well that's how I felt anyway. :) Ali, I've had a mouthguard for 2 years because I would clench my teeth so hard at night, I would wake up with horrific headaches, my jaw muscles felt like they were on fire and I even broke some of my fillings. My dentist told me that nighttime teeth clenching is a sign of stress and I never put two and two together so now when I am in a stressful situation I slap in the ole nightguard. It truly does wonders for my headaches.

~Sherry~
Ulcerative Colitis since 1992
Meds: Colazal & VSL#3
Secondary Raynauld's Syndrome since 2004
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CRANKY 1
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 616
   Posted 2/2/2006 7:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey guys,
I have the same problem with TMJ.  My jaw tenses up more during the daytime, and I just had a big flare-up after two hours in the dental chair.  Nothing was making it feel any better until I had a massage last night.  I swear to you it was miraculous!!!  It hurts like hell while the muscles are getting stretched out, but it is well worth it!  I haven't have a bit of pain or headache today.  Massage therapists are relatively inexpensive, whether you chose to concentrate on just your head and neck or your whole body.  I use one at the rehab center at the YMCA. An hour runs me $50, but you can start with 15 minute sessions.  I highly recommend it.
 
Good luck,
Leigh Ann cool
"The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful."
                                             - Jimmy Buffett


timur
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 2/16/2006 12:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey i have a problem with teeth grinding and im getting a mouth splint for it, but my jaw muscles feel all swollen up. is there anything I can do to decrease the swelling?

hopeful82
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2433
   Posted 2/17/2006 3:25 PM (GMT -6)   
I bet once you stop clenching that your jaw will feel much better. In the mean time - try an OTC med like acetominophen when the pain gets real bad. Or a nice cold compress :)
ali
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
 
"You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for our own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful." - Marie Curie
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Winston Churchill
 
 


els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4029
   Posted 2/18/2006 7:09 AM (GMT -6)   
I do this a lot too with the jaw clenching.  I don't usually notice it but it is mostly during the day.  My teeth end up hurting by the end of the day. I will have to look into one of those splints.

~elisha
 


timur
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 2/18/2006 12:38 PM (GMT -6)   
hey after my first night of wearing the mouth splint my jaw is feeling a whole lot better and the severeity of my headaches especially in the morning has decreased, thanks for the messages

timur
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 2/23/2006 10:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey, after wearing the splint for 5 nights I still get headaches nearly all day. i feel a bit better in the morning but it gets worse throughtout the day and i dont grind my teeth then cause i am very aware of it or i just wear my splint most of the time. I still think I suffer from TMJ headaches cause it is chronic and a  lot of the symptoms are the same plus my jaw does feel very tight when my head gets worse. Does anyone have any suggestions that might help?

hopeful82
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2433
   Posted 2/23/2006 11:17 AM (GMT -6)   
You might want to try antidepressants and antianxiety meds - thats what I use right now (but I also have anxiety). My neurologist also suggested Zanaflex if the Klonopin and antidepressants stop working. Could you ask your doctor about that? Its a mild muscle relaxant used for headaches. I haven't tried it yet though, so I'm not sure how it works. Sounds to me though like your headaches are tension related.
How is your posture?
What do you do all day? Sit at a desk?
Do you excercise?

These are all issues that I've had to address with myself to fix my headaches. I know it sounds like a lot of work - but the benefit is far greater than the cost.

Best wishes!!
ali
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
 
"You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for our own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful." - Marie Curie
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Winston Churchill
 
 


timur
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 2/24/2006 12:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Im taking your advice and working on my posture. I do have a lot of lecture classes so i do sit at a desk a lot but I find that my posture isnt that bad when comparing with most people . i also go to a chiropractor and thats a real drain on my wallet but it does help a bit. I do think that tension headaches plays a major role for my situation as I have a headache all the time which varies in severeity but its weird that sometimes I can have quite a bad headache even if im fully relaxed. im on a antidepressant called amitriptyline which  also helps the anxiety. I have been prescribed a muscle relaxant norflex (aka orphenadrine) awhile back which i completely forgot about but didnt take it that much cause usually i dont like to mix my meds, but i think im going to try it out now. I dont excercise that much anymore because if i do any excessive excercise me head acts up but i uually walk quite a bit and on occasion jog. Thanks for the advise.  

hopeful82
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2433
   Posted 2/27/2006 10:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Massage therapy is also a great option - and far more relaxing that visiting a chiropractor. If you can find someone who specializes in craniosacral and myofascial massage therapy then you should really try it!! Relaxing the neck and head muscles is SO important to preventing tension headaches.
ali
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
 
"You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for our own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful." - Marie Curie
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Winston Churchill
 
 


emilyann
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/9/2006 4:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everyone

I too suffer from daily tension headaches and sore jaw and cranial muscles. I believe I just clench my teeth at night, no grinding, because my teeth do not show any wear. I have tried a mouthgaurd (the soft plastic mouth piece) and an NTI-appliance but neither seemed to stop me from clenching. Someone suggested a splint that would relax my jaw and keep me from being able to clench at night. My problem is that I think I have been doing this for over 10 years and that my muscles are just so trained to clench I don't know if another mouth piece would be worth it. In general I am trying to address my stress, anger, and anxiety issues which I believe brought on this habit but I need some relief for the short term. Any advice on splints?

thanks and happy health

timur
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 3/9/2006 6:28 PM (GMT -6)   
hey  ive tried the mouth splint but it doesnt work for me as it doesnt stop me excercising my jaw muscles at night. An NTI device
 works so that even if you clench your jaw muscles it wouldnt be worked as much as it keeps the canine and molar teeth apart so it minimises the effect. Ive also read somewhere that sleeping on your back is better for your jaw than on the sides. I think you should keep trying with the NTI and apart from anti-anxiety medications you might want to look into muscle relaxants. I know how you feel ive got tension headaches that im finding incredibly hard to get rid off. hope you find relief

hopeful82
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2433
   Posted 3/10/2006 7:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Yeah, I'm surprised the NTI device didn't work for you, just based on the fact that you cannot no matter what clench your jaw if its in your mouth correctly. The splint helps me in my case because my bite is very uneven - my molars on the left don't touch when I bite down, which is why the left side of my head always hurts. The splint creates an even bite plane so that the pressure of clenching is evenly distributed throughout my jaw, not just one one spot.

Ask your dentist about getting a splint made, with insurance it will be affordable. Also, visit a neurologist so they can evaluate your headaches and possibly prescribe a muscle relaxant like Zanaflex. I actually take Klonopin (a benzodiazepine used for anxiety) every night to suppress the urge to clench at night. I think addressing your stress and anxiety is the best way to prevent the clenching. Good luck :)
ali
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
 
"You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for our own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful." - Marie Curie
 
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Winston Churchill
 
 


Gregory Grindmore
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/27/2007 12:10 AM (GMT -6)   

GOOD NEWS! NTI Safety, New Approaches, New Innovations for NTI wearers. :-)

I too have TMJ, face pain, and Fibromyalgia issues and I wear a bottom teeth mouth splint in the daytime and a bottom teeth NTI splint at night. I ran into a critical safety issue and I'd like to share it with you at http://www.aglasshalffull.org/NTIimprovement.htm .

And you need to keep in mind that if you have a dentist and Osteopathic doctor work on you at the same time, with the Osteopath checking cranial stress and the dentist adjusting the NTI, you can end up with a relatively comfy NTI that will help you sleep with minimal grinding and stress. Once the NTI is adjusted to minimal cranial stress, you'll begin to learn why it is such a great invention. If you hate TMJ pain, grinding pain, clenching pain, face pain, and general head/teeth/jaw discomfort as much as I do, you owe it to yourself to heed my words. I got my NTI optimized with the use of an Osteopath-dentist team, and it really helped a lot.

But also check out my safety article mentioned above. I have nothing to sell but some good advice. Sooner or later someone will choke to death on their NTI, but it's NOT necessary, if people heed my advice, which is not theoretical, but comes from experience: the experience of nearly choking on my NTI. :-)


sarahswan
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 1/2/2008 10:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the advice. I have also ran across these articles on how dentists can help with headache/migraine pain:
 
 
 
I don't have experience with either of these, but found the articles really interesting!
 
~Sarah

http://www.myspace.com/nomoremigraine


LeilaH
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/8/2011 5:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I got horrible tension headaches freshman year of college and couldn't figure out what they were from. I would wake up in the morning and be okay for a few minutes but then the headaches would kick in and my entire jaw, sometimes neck area and temples would be sore. Sometimes advil couldn't make the pain go away. So I went to a jaw specialist and discovered that whenever I am going through intense stress, I clench my jaw at night. I got a night guard a few days ago and haven't had a headache since. Though they are pretty expensive, the relief from the pain is worth the price :)

mhns
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/15/2011 3:43 AM (GMT -6)   

Almost every day around 4:00 pm I start getting this terrible headache, well I do sit in front of my computer screen most of the day due to my job and I just can't get rid of this terrible sharp headache. So I tried taking a break of 15 minutes, it helps for 20-30 minutes but nothing more than that, unfortunately I can't leave the office before 6:00 pm...is there any natural way of getting rid of this daily headache? I just despise medications and looking for a natural solution that really helps - can anyone recommend or tip on a method that truly works?

 
 
 
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