Headaches are usually chalked up to stress, loud noises, dehydration, and sinus issues, but your teeth may also have something to do with it. Here are 3 reasons that your headaches might require a trip to the dentist:

Do you wake up in the morning with headaches or jaw aches?

It could be because you’re clenching or grinding your teeth as you sleep. Most people are not even aware that they have this condition, also known as bruxism, but it can do untold damage that will eventually need serious dental care. If you’re waking up with headaches or have noticed grinding, clenching, or even teeth getting loose, it’s a sure sign you need a visit to the dentist.

A chipped tooth is no big deal, right?

There’s more than just cosmetic reasons to see a dentist if you’ve chipped a tooth or teeth; a new gap or space in your smile could lead to malocclusion, where your top teeth and bottom teeth don’t quite fit together as they should. This puts unusual stress on your temporal-mandibular joint, and can lead to headaches as your jaw tries to readjust to your new bite. Your dentist will be able to fix your bite if it’s no longer aligning the way it should.

Ever heard crunching, clicking, or popping by your ears where your jaw bone connects to your head?

While in some cases, the sounds are nothing to be worried about, they can indicate a case of temporal-mandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. When this complicated joint is not moving correctly or is especially strained or out of place, it can lead to painful headaches and aches in your facial and neck muscles, and in severe cases, you may even temporarily lose the ability to open or close your jaw altogether. So if you hear noises when you open and close your mouth, particularly if the noise is accompanied by pain or gives you frequent headaches, you should bring it up to your dentist.

All three situations are common enough that your dentist should be quite able to diagnose all of these and provide treatment, recommend therapies, or prescribe anti-inflammatory meds to help ease the pain. So, if you start to notice that you’re experiencing more headaches than normal, and over-the-counter medicines only seem to work temporarily, it’s possible that your teeth or jaw might be the culprit and that a trip to the dentist might be the answer.