How are Teeth Grinding and Headaches Related?

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Reviewed by  Monroe Elkin, BS PHARM., DMD


Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can lead to painful headaches and many other consequences. Often bruxism happens when you're asleep, so it's hard to even know if you have the condition. The exact causes of bruxism are not known, but it is known that the best thing to do if you are suffering from bruxism is to wear a high-quality nightguard while you sleep. That is why CustMbite created the CustMbite Nightguard and the CustMbite Hard Surface Nightguard. These nightguards can prevent the painful symptoms that people suffering from nighttime bruxism experience.

While the causes are not known, there are certain risk factors for developing bruxism. The first, and maybe most common, risk factor is increased anxiety or stress. Excessive anger or frustration can also trigger bruxism in children or adults. Another risk factor is age — young people are more likely than older people to develop bruxism. People who are aggressive, hyperactive, or competitive are also at higher risk for developing the condition.

Bruxism has also been linked with certain psychiatric medications, like some antidepressants. People who smoke tobacco, drink caffeine or alcohol, or use recreational drugs are likewise at higher risk of developing bruxism. Because the condition seems to run in families, you are at higher risk of experiencing bruxism if you have one or more relatives with it as well.

Finally, bruxism is linked with certain mental health and medical conditions, including Parkinson's disease, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), night terrors, sleep apnea or other sleep disorders, epilepsy, and dementia.

Continue reading to learn the symptoms that may indicate you have bruxism and to find out how one of the CustMbite nightguards can help mitigate these often uncomfortable and sometimes painful effects of the condition.


One of the most obvious signs that you have bruxism is that your sleep partner is awakened by the sound of your teeth grinding, clenching, or gnashing. If you wake up with jaw, neck, or face pain or soreness, it could be due to overnight teeth grinding. Teeth grinding and headaches go hand-in-hand, so if you have frequent headaches, especially dull ones that start near your temples and seem to have no other cause, you might be experiencing nighttime bruxism.

You can sometimes see the effects of bruxism. If your teeth are chipped, fractured, flattened, or even loose, it may be because you have been grinding them at night without even being aware of it. The same is true if your tooth enamel is wearing down and exposing deeper layers of your tooth. You might also experience damage to the inside of your cheeks from chewing on them while grinding your teeth at night.

There are some more serious signs of bruxism. One of them is pain that feels like an earache while there is nothing wrong with your ear or ear canal. This can be caused by inflammation of the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, which is right up against your ear canal. This leads us to one of the most severe consequences of bruxism, which is developing TMJ disorder. This is when your TMJ, the joint that connects your lower jaw with your skull, comes out of alignment. This condition often announces itself with a popping or grinding sound when eating, yawning, or talking. Pain is also likely to be involved.


Because the level of bruxism each person suffers is different, CustMbite has designed two highly effective nightguard products so you can choose the one that best meets your needs. Read the descriptions below to help you decide.

  • CustMbite Nightguard
    If you suffer from mild to moderate headaches or other bruxism symptoms, the standard CustMbite Nightguard may be the right product for you. This is also the best product if you have a child who experiences bruxism because it comes in both regular and petite sizes, so there's a nightguard to fit every mouth. You can even choose which color nightguard you want with the standard guard. It's especially flexible and comfortable, which is important for anyone who has to wear a nightguard, but especially for children so that they leave it in all night. The CustMbite Nightguard is the right choice for children or other people with mild to moderate bruxism.
  • CustMbite Hard Surface Nightguard
    If you suffer from moderate to severe headaches or other bruxism symptoms, the CustMbite Hard Surface Nightguard is made for you. This is also the right nightguard for you if you have tried the standard nightguard and your teeth have chewed through it in a short amount of time. You need the greater durability this guard provides. It is crafted with a patented hard surface layer that allows your teeth to move freely when the lower jaw is in motion, which prevents teeth grinding while you sleep. The CustMbite Hard Surface Nightguard is the best option for people with the most intense bruxism symptoms.


There is no known cure for bruxism, but there are simple devices that you can use to help alleviate some or all of the painful symptoms. Wearing a nightguard like the CustMbite Nightguard or the CustMbite Hard Surface Nightguard keeps your teeth from being able to grind together at night. Without the continuation of the grinding behavior, the symptoms tend to go away. If the symptoms do not go away, it's important to talk to your dentist or doctor right away.

The CustMbite Nightguard and CustMbite Hard Surface Nightguard were developed with the assistance of dental professionals for your comfort and protection from teeth grinding. They are made of our patented Vistamaxx material, which is light and flexible while also being strong enough to stand up to your attempts to grind your teeth night after night. They are effective because they provide a barrier that does not allow your teeth to grind together, and they're comfortable because they are thin and flexible.

CustMbite nightguards are also comfortable because the first thing you do when you receive yours is to mold it to your teeth. That way, you end up with a custom-fit device to protect you from the painful and often harmful consequences of teeth grinding. Fitting your nightguard to your bite is easy and takes only about two minutes. You don't have to worry about the scary boil-and-bite process that so many customized nightguards use. All you need is a microwave, a bowl of cold water, and a paper towel.

It can be hard to find a nightguard that works well with braces, but the CustMbite Nightguard is perfect for people who wear traditional metal braces. The nightguard comes with special fitting directions for people who wear braces. Better yet, the CustMbite nightguards are remoldable so you don't need to purchase a new nightguard each time your child or teen's teeth shift significantly. You just need to have them refit the guard each time their bite changes, and then one more time in the end when the braces come off for good.


The CustMbite Nightguards have been evaluated and cleared by the FDA and are safe to use. They are free of latex, phthalates, BPA, and PVC. Our nightguards don't absorb saliva or bacteria, so it's easy to keep clean with our All Natural Oral Appliance Cleaner. All you need to do when you take out your nightguard in the morning is spray it with the cleaner, wipe it with a soft cloth, and rinse it. Then you can put it back in its case, which you can also clean with the All Natural Oral Appliance Cleaner, and it will be ready to use the next time you go to bed.

If you or your child suffer from nighttime teeth grinding and headaches, order one of the best nightguards on the market online today.

Your comfort is our highest priority.

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Reviewed by:

Monroe Elkin, BS PHARM., DMD

Monroe Elkin got a Bachelors of Science in Pharmacy at Brooklyn College of Pharmacy in Brooklyn, New York. He then earned a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry at the University of Rutgers School of Dentistry in Newark New Jersey. Dr. Elkin owned and operated his own dental practices for 29 years where he specialized in treating oral injuries for athletes, fabricated custom fitted mouth guards and performed both general and trauma dentistry for athletes at Wagner College as dentist for the athletic department. He also performed cosmetic dentistry including implants, crown and bridges, bonding and endodontics. Dr. Elkin has been a part of 3 publications and has held various positions volunteering for organizations that are about sports dentistry and oral care.

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