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4 July 2018

Could bruxism be responsible for these painful conditions?

When we have a headache, we are often aware what the cause is. It may be due to stress, a hangover or even a migraine.

We can usually manage these with painkiller medication in the knowledge that it is likely to be temporary. For some of our Surbiton patients though, headaches may be an almost daily occurrence.

If you suffer from a persistent headache, you should first see your doctor to make sure that there are no serious underlying medical issues. If you have been given the all clear, it is time to have your mouth examined by one of the dentists at the Confidental Clinic.


A surprising number of headaches stem from a habit which many of us may not even know we have, and that is teeth grinding, or bruxism. As much of this tends to occur at night, whilst we sleep, we may be completely unaware of it. As we usually grind our rear teeth, which are relatively strong when healthy, they will withstand the pressure for some time before any significant damage, such as a breakage, occurs. They will wear down though, and treatment should be sought if you are aware of having this habit.

Headaches and jaw problems

It isn’t just our teeth that can suffer due to the pressure exerted when we grind our teeth. Headaches, especially in the morning, or clicking and aching jaws on a regular basis is a likely indication that we are grinding our teeth whilst we sleep.

Can it be treated?

The best way to prevent headaches and jaw problems that occur in this way is to stop grinding or clenching your teeth altogether. That is easier said than done though, especially as we do it subconsciously. It is widely believed that one of the main reasons that we grind our teeth is because of stress. If you aware of a significant cause of stress in your life, you may wish to try to address this and make changes, where possible. You may also find that some relaxation techniques will help to reduce the stress levels and make them more manageable.

The dentist’s role

At the Confidental Clinic in Surbiton, we are pleased to offer a selection of mouthguards and splints that can be used to prevent you grinding your teeth together whilst you sleep. These will help to prevent damage being done to your teeth, along with reducing the stress on your jaw muscles, which will also help to reduce headaches. Every patient’s problem is unique and may benefit from a different type of guard or splint.

So if you suffer from persistent headaches or jaw problems, you may find it useful to have a discussion with one of our Surbiton dentists who will examine you and discuss your problem to find the most appropriate solution.

You can contact the Confidental Clinic by calling us on 020 8399 1291.

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