Can Braces Cause Migraines?

Having headaches and even debilitating migraine headaches can be a result of getting orthodontic treatment. Pain caused by braces that are too tight, or by a movement that is particularly difficult can radiate to the rest of the face, neck and head, and can come in seemingly unrelated places, like around the eyes. Having this kind of pain is normal, albeit incredibly rare, and the causes are as diverse as the means available to improve the situation. Here are some of the problems that may be causing the pain, and some solutions to help alleviate it.

Migraines from wearing braces

Migraines Caused by: Braces too tight

If your braces are put on too tight, they may be pulling at your nerves as well, and may be stretching the actual tissue that connects to your face; the bones may be signalling their displeasure with pain. The nerve in the alveolus can also feel stretched, and the signals it sends at this time may show up as headaches or even constant migraines. Having your face muscles pulled can also give you headaches.

Solution: Try and talk to your dentist and see if you can’t get the braces a little bit looser. If the dentist says no, that it needs to be this tight, you may want to invest in some aspirin or ibuprofen. Your face muscles will stop hurting as the teeth shift position.

Migraines Caused by:  Dehydration

When you have braces on, your mouth will be open more, and you will tend to breathe through your mouth more. The area of your teeth is now bigger, and this may make closing your mouth a little harder, and with all of that force being exerted on your teeth, closing your mouth all the way may not be comfortable. Thus your mouth is more likely to dry out, and if you do not replenish your water intake you may start to feel a headache that will become chronic if you ignore it.

Solution: Rehydrate more often, and make sure you always have some water on you, you may find that your headache will be gone in a few days.

Migraines Caused by:  Spacers

Spacers are placed between molars and the pre-molars, and this way create space in the teeth. This is sometimes necessary in order to ensure the success of the orthodontic treatment, and is notoriously painful. It feels like a one centimeter thick rubber or metal clip is caught between your teeth. This pain can readily radiate to your temples, your jaw, behind your ears, and even cause a migraine.

Solution: There really isn’t one. You can do things to alleviate symptoms, but the pain itself will be felt, as the cause of the pain, the spacers, will be in place as long as they need to be. Use neck and facial massage to alleviate the pain, and use ibuprofen or tylenol to alleviate the headache pains.

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