Dental Blog

Why do I Get Headaches With my New Invisalign®?

Don’t fret - this potential side effect is normally temporary, and very manageable.

Invisalign® clear aligners are the ideal modern alternative to traditional wire and metal braces. Patients generally see results after about a year or more of wearing these custom-made trays, although this varies from person to person.

All in all, wearing Invisalign® is quite comfortable, and the treatment is capable of straightening your teeth just as well as traditional braces - considering your malocclusion (or degree of crooked teeth) is not too severe.

However, there is a common side effect of Invisalign® that should be noted: and that side effect is headaches - which can range from mild to full-on migraines.

Why do headaches occur with Invisalign® treatment?

For people who do experience headaches with Invisalign®, they will generally present themselves when first starting treatment, or when switching to a new set of aligner trays. This is simply due to the fact that the patient isn’t yet used to this new pressure being put on their teeth, as well as not yet being accustomed to having something in the mouth for extended periods of time.

Generally speaking, once a patient gets used to the sensation of Invisalign® in the mouth including the gentle pressures exerted onto the teeth, these potential headaches should subside and no longer be a bother. And in the meantime, they can easily be managed with some over-the-counter pain medication.

What determines the severity of Invisalign®-induced headaches?

The intensity or frequency/duration of a person’s headaches with Invisalign® treatment will depend on the unique alignment of their teeth and jaw, in addition to whether they are already prone to headaches and/or migraines to begin with.

With that being said, there are several different factors that may increase headache severity for a patient, including:

  • If the aligner trays are causing a patient to clench or grind their teeth, more severe tension headaches may occur.
  • If the shifting of the teeth causes a significant shift in the bite, a misaligned jaw may result, leading to more regular headaches or other TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder symptoms including neck pain.
  • If moving the teeth creates a minor strain on the jaw, more headaches may ensue.

Orthodontic treatment with Invisalign® can be a rather complex process that requires meticulous attention to detail and proper calibration of trays, to ensure the patient’s bite remains stable throughout the process.

Without the right treatment approach, a patient can end up suffering more headaches and may even develop a TMJ disorder. However, with appropriate treatment, teeth straightening via Invisalign® can help to relieve the symptoms of a TMJ disorder through correcting the bite and resolving a patient’s malocclusion.

The bottom line: Severe headaches with Invisalign® is not normal.

While it’s not really a cause for concern if a patient experiences mild headaches while starting Invisalign® treatment or with switching trays, more frequent, severe or intense headaches - especially if they interfere with daily activities or quality of life - should not be ignored.

If ever you experience this degree of headaches or migraines at any point on your Invisalign® journey, let your dentist know as soon as possible. This may be an indication that your aligner trays are incorrect, your bite is becoming misaligned, or, you are developing a TMJ disorder, among other possibilities.

Ready to upgrade your smile and life with Invisalign® clear aligners?

A properly aligned smile is an important component of good oral health - and of course, is an essential determining factor of facial attractiveness.

Our Milton dentist and team would love to help you achieve your smile goals with Invisalign® clear aligners - and treatment does not need to be a headache!

Reach out to our team today to schedule your Invisalign® consultation today.

Why do I get headaches with my new invisalign?

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In Need of Dental Care in Milton?

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