Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at [email protected]

    Headaches since orthodontic braces?
    MsMoka posted:
    Has anyone else experienced chronic (24/7) headaches after getting orthodontic braces on their teeth?

    My son (15) has had constant pain in the backs of his eyes for 2.5 years, which started right after the braces were put on. He has seen every specialist imaginable, after the Orthodontist didn't think it was connected (nor did any of the specialists - Neuro, ENT, Allergist, Opthamologist). MRI, CTscan, full work ups and every imaginable Opthamalogical test have all come back clear.

    I'm back to suspecting the braces, which he has 5 months left with. Orthodontist feels his bite is fine.

    We've decided to try the Botox injections next week, and if that doesn't work, I'll have him take a comprehensive metal alleriges test (not a skin patch test). If no luck there, I think we'll yank those braces off early. My fear is that it may not change the pain.

    Anyone have any similar experience? Anyone vouch for the Botox in a similar situation?

    Thanks M
    lisahauer09 responded:
    Hey msmoka, could the braces be too tight? Maybe his orthodontist can loosen them a bit? All that tugging and pulling could be part of the problem. You should find out if he's grinding his teeth at night also.
    MsMoka responded:
    I haven't asked that specifically, but I will. I kind of had the impression that he would have felt something in around his teeth if that were so, but maybe not. They've been adjusted so much over the course of 2.5 years that I would have thought the pain would have maybe changed or moved, but no, it's always been in the backs of his eyeballs. And no, he's not grinding his teeth. Thanks for your reply, M
    MsMoka responded:
    Thought I'd do a follow up in case anyone finds themselves in same situation. It has been an eye-opener. In a nutshell:

    - Botox did not help at all.

    - Braces came off, no diminishing of eye pain.

    - Hired Building Biologist to test home for ANY problems (mold, toxic materials, etc.) Was SHOCKED when she showed me the radiation measurement emitting from son's Sonicare Toothbrush - worse than microwave!! The timing fit - pain started one month after getting braces, but continued after removal; pain started one month after starting to use Sonicare toothbrush and continued after braces removal, because he CONTINUED TO USE TOOTHBRUSH. Long story short - my son is Electromagnetically Sensitive. Threw toothbrush away, removed DECT 6.0 cordless phones from house (he'd had one in his room), reverted back from wifi to wired internet. It explained why the pain would get worse when in certain locations - turns out they were cell-phone tower locations. TONS of research on this if anyone wants to contact me directly. My whole family is feeling better overall.

    - Although feeling lots better, we were to discover this was only part of the problem. He went for an overnight sleep study and was determined to have Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and the lack of oxygen could certainly explain the eye pain and inability to focus.

    - Tonsils are scheduled to be removed in a few weeks to address the OSA ... I'll try and remember to post an update, but we are truly hopeful!

    whitebear4 responded:
    Also check for clusters (headaches behind the eye).
    psmith15 replied to MsMoka's response:

    Your son's story sounds a lot like my daughters. Every test and lab available. Did the tonsils help the headaches? I've been wondering about her braces. Trouble is, do they try to move her teeth back? i've also wondered about apnea but never seen or heard her do anything in her sleep that looked like that. Could you see it in your son before the study?
    relluf replied to psmith15's response:
    My granddaughter had her braces removed in Nov. Started having headaches right away but we didn't realize the connection. Went to doctors, neurologist, therapists, etc. Was diagnosed as migraines and given daily drugs to take for prevention. Still didn't help. Went back for checkup to her orthodontist 5 months later and he asked how she was feeling. She happened to mention she had been having migraine headaches. He immediately checked her and found her bite was off from the braces, told her to quit wearing her retainer for 2 weeks. He adjusted her bite and headaches immediately stopped. No one had ever asked about history of braces and we had no idea that could cause her migraines.
    Motherofthreeboys responded:
    My 14 year old son had braces put on top and bottom. As well, his bottom jaw is not positioned correctly. Is smaller and too far back, so they are working at bringing it forward. Around the time he had his braces put on, he started to get migraines. Typical one for him is splitting headach, throws up violently and then crashes and burns for four days. He has had 5 so far. This last one though, he didn't throw up. Just had the splitting headache but, it wouldn't go away. He ended up in emergency and had to be put on iv drip with a drug called Maxeran. Within 1/2 an hour of the iv being put in, the headache was completely gone. Ortho is away on holidays but, will be discussing braces and chance that they are the cause, when they are back. Any other information anyone can offer? My concern is that they will persist once he has his braces taken off - that the shifting that they so want to have happen, has actually done the damage already?!
    beckygab responded:
    Yes, my 9 yr old granddaughter began getting chronic headaches around the time she got her braces on this summer. Reason for braces: fix her crossbite. Around the same time she got a sinus ear infections, so was on a couple of rounds of antibiotics for these. The sinuses still don't look very clear, per the dr; her mom asked for another antibiotic round hoping to clear them better, and she started on this yesterday. She's also had extensive blood tests & allergy skin tests, an MRI, and next week a CT scan. Some relatives in Italy suggested the top braces particularly may be causing head pain due to the tension & tightness, they have heard of this problem. Her pain can be behind the eyes, forehead, top of head, down both sides of neck and at the top center of her back / near neck. She can do no exertion at all and only 1/2 day of school, then needs to completely rest - pain is always there. Too sad!
    grkgrl replied to beckygab's response:
    Oh my goodness! I wish I would have read these posts earlier! My daughter who is 15 started having headaches last year. They have become terribly worse! We have been to neurologists,headache specialists,had MRI's given injections! We finally coincided the headaches with the braces!! I thought maybe TMD and such,so I called the orthodontist who is an extreme perfectionist about his work. He claimed that he would check her, and he did and said she was ok,and that they would try and speed up her treatment and give her a night appliance. We are currently missing school every other day,and only attending for a few hours every day. Homework has become impossible to complete!! She is (or was) an A student with high aspirations in science and it is killing me to watch this degeneration due to braces!I too am concerned about the pain still being there if we take the braces off. This has been so difficult to deal with,and I was ready to have the house checked for mold,toxins,etc until I read the previous posts! If anyone has any ideas as to how we can help my daughter or anyone else with this malady,please post or contact me!
    JulieJoy responded:
    YES! My daughter has been having severe migraines waking up with them and constantly having to sleep and missing tons of school now and I realized after doing all the same things with the same worries and doing the allergy testing the ophthalmologist and all the other things we are told to do such as MRI, antibiotics "which made her feel aweful because she is not sick", she is due to get them off but I'm wondering do they get headaches if the alignment is off somehow or widened too much in the mouth as they seem to make a lot of the smile very square and wide for some reason. Now I am really wondering if it's the braces because it's at that time that she got them on that it has started to be EVERY DAY...yes we have a cell tower about 3 blocks away ON the high school campus. I worried about the same things allergies, mold, toxins all our kids are having the same symptoms and most likely the SAME reason daughters teeth moved EXTREMELY fast do you have that in common as well? Moving so fast they bled once scary. Do all of your braces have that wide mouth look?
    JulieJoy replied to Motherofthreeboys's response:
    he is throwing up from severe pain....
    JulieJoy replied to grkgrl's response:
    mine missed so much school and I think for the same reason mine was waking up with intense migraine and would be random or all day it was horrible seeing her in so much pain. I just hope that it's not because of how and WHERE the teeth have been moved to are they having headaches because the teeth are moving or because they are moved to a place in the mouth that causes it? I feel bad that mine has been in so much pain all for straight teeth not sure it was worth it.
    rogerssmr replied to grkgrl's response:
    I see you posted 1 year ago so it's been a while, but your daughter's story parallels my daughters ..except my daughter has had braces off for a while now. We have been thru all the tests as well (MRI's, TMJ, neurologist, etc. you name it) but she continues with daily/chronic headaches. I'm at my wits end and my heart breaks to see my daughter like this. And I'm just wondering if you ever found a solution?

    Helpful Tips

    Botox for Headaches FDA approvedExpert
    Many of you have heard that Botox (botulinum toxin) has been approved by the FDA for chronic daily headaches or migraines. Chronic daily ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    31 of 47 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the Duke Health Pain Disorders Center