The short answer is yes; tooth pain can cause a headache. One of the largest nerves in your head, the trigeminal nerve, is connected to most toothaches and can cause headaches from the pain, tight jaw muscles, and clenching of your mouth.
In some cases, pain from a dental issue can spread to other areas of the head, resulting in headaches. Both chronic and acute toothaches can lead to headaches depending on their severity and duration.
There are several oral conditions that can cause headaches, and these are the most common:
- an impacted wisdom tooth
- a cracked teeth
- tooth decay
- sinus infection
- tooth infections
- TMJ misalignment
Here’s a look at how toothaches and other oral issues can cause you headaches:
Toothaches and headaches
A toothache is usually caused by an infection, cavity, abscess or trauma. If the pain persists over time and is left untreated, it can cause inflammation in the jaw muscles, which can then spread to other parts of the head.
This can lead to tension headaches or even migraine headaches. If a toothache is left untreated, this can lead to other symptoms as well, including:
- Sensitivity to light or sound
The good news is that toothaches can be easily treated with antibiotics, migraine pain medications, or even a root canal. If you are experiencing a headache along with your toothache, it is important to see your dentist for a check-up and treatment.
This can help prevent the spread of the infection and alleviate any discomfort.
Teeth grinding and headaches
Teeth grinding or bruxism can also lead to headaches. This can occur when the jaw muscles become tense, causing pain in and around the head. Teeth grinding can also cause tension headaches due to the stress it puts on your teeth and jaw muscles.
Treatment for bruxism can include wearing a mouth guard at night or undergoing physical therapy.
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) and headaches
The temporomandibular joint disorder can also cause headaches. This can occur when the jaw joint is not functioning properly, causing pain in and around the head. The headaches are usually set off by an action such as chewing or opening and shutting the mouth.
Treatment for TMJ can include physical therapy, orthodontic treatments or even surgery in some cases.
Bad bite and headaches
A bad bite can also cause headaches. This can occur when the upper and lower teeth do not meet correctly, your jaw may have to work harder to bring your top and bottom teeth together, resulting in pain in the jaw muscles and headaches.
Treatment can include orthodontic treatments or bite adjustments to ensure the teeth fit together properly.
Root canal complications and headache
In some cases, having a root canal can lead to complications such as nerve damage or infection. If the nerve is damaged, it can cause inflammation in the jaw muscles and can spread to other parts of the head, resulting in severe pain and headaches.
In order to prevent any potential complications from a root canal, it is important to follow your dentist’s instructions and to keep up with regular dental check-ups.
Toothache and ear pain
It is also important to note that a toothache can be accompanied by ear pain. This can occur as the nerve endings in the jaw can connect to other areas of the body, such as the ears, resulting in pain in both areas.
Your teeth, jaw and gums are closely connected to your ears, which means that ear pain can be a sign of an underlying dental issue.
That’s why it’s so important to take care of your oral health. You may find that undergoing restorative treatments or regular cleanings reduces the occurrence of ear pain.
Seek Professional Help
It can be difficult to identify a solitary solution for pain disorders such as Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS), Temporomandibular disorder, and other headaches due to the fact that they may also manifest as musculoskeletal problems affecting chewing and cervical muscles.
Various medical conditions can cause headaches and pains, often tricking patients into thinking they have a joint disorder or blood clot.
If you’re willing to handle mild discomfort, keep in mind that it’s best to receive treatment as soon as possible. By doing so, you can avoid the problem getting worse and painful surprises down the road.
If you’ve ever wondered, “can toothache cause headaches,” book an appointment with our dentist in Synergy Dental Group by calling on (03) 7003 2185. They will give you a complete oral evaluation and x-rays to determine if these migraines or headaches could be coming from your teeth and will quickly relieve you of discomfort.
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