Headaches and Braces

You just got your braces on, and you’re excited to start your journey to a healthier, straighter smile. But then you get a headache, and you wonder if the new braces or Invisalign aligners are causing the headache. Keep reading to discover the relationship between headaches and braces. 

What is the Link Between Headaches and Braces?

Getting braces or Invisalign is an exciting process, as you are on your way to a better smile. But as with any medical procedure, there are possible side effects, one of which is headaches. These braces-related headaches most often happen after the orthodontist puts on or adjusts your braces, or when you switch to a new set of Invisalign trays. Jaw pain and pressure from the tightening can cause a headache the first day or two after initial treatment, but it should dissipate quickly. 

If your headache lasts longer than a couple days after treatment, consider talking to your orthodontist to see if they can loosen the braces. You may also be dehydrated from breathing through your mouth, as braces cause your mouth to be open more, and this can cause a headache. Make sure to get the recommended eight glasses of water a day, especially in the first couple weeks after your braces are put on or adjusted. 

Can Dental Issues Cause Headaches or Migraines?

Misaligned jaws and missing teeth cause problems with your bite, which in turn leads to pain in your head, neck, and jaw. This pain can then trigger headaches, as the stress and pressure on these areas increase. 

Uneven bite patterns can also lead to TMD, which can trigger headaches. TMD affects a nerve in both sides of the jaw that causes jaw muscles to work overtime. This extra pressure can lead to back pain, neck pain, and headaches.

Tooth grinding can also lead to headaches. Grinding puts extra pressure on your jaw, which can lead to pain along your neck or upper back. This in turn can lead to headaches, as the extra pressure tires your muscles. 

Can Braces and Invisalign Stop Headaches?

While there is a slight risk of developing a headache after braces or Invisalign treatment, these treatments are more likely to relieve your headaches. The American Academy of Migraines says that 12% of Americans suffer from migraines, and many of these are caused or worsened by dental issues. 

Orthodontics can treat and solve many of these issues. Braces and Invisalign work to correct misaligned jaws, which alleviates pain and headaches related to an uneven bite. They also correct TMD, eliminating nerve pain that leads to headaches. Orthodontic treatment can also address tooth grinding, a common cause of headache pain. 


If you’re ready to embrace the “you” with a brighter, healthier smile, contact Smith Orthodontics to schedule your free consultation.