Do Toothaches Cause Headaches?

Angela McCainby:

Science / Health

Toothaches are not pleasing at all. It comes with extraordinarily throbbing and uncomfortable pain. The pain itself is unbearable and brings discomfort during the day and may also lead to sleepless nights. If you are experiencing some form of headache and at the same time you have a toothache, there is a high chance that it might be the toothache that is causing the headache.

A toothache involves pain caused by tooth decay, fracture, or even infection in the gums in or around the tooth. Its most common symptoms include sharp tooth pain, swelling around the tooth, fever, and headache.

Tooth pain and headache have a close relationship because of the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve is the largest sensory nerve in the head that provides nerve supply to the face, teeth, gums, jaw joints, and jaws, and on the other end, it causes tooth and gum pains.

If toothaches can cause headaches, it clearly shows how serious the issue can be. It can affect a person’s quality of living. It is best to seek proper medical attention to identify the underlying problem and get the necessary treatment for the cause.

Various dental health conditions can lead to a headache. Below are examples:                                                                                 

Bruxism

Bruxism is when the teeth grind or clinches. It mostly transpires when a person is stressed or sleeping. It leads to pain behind the eyes to the head. Sore jaw muscles typically accompany the pain and a clicking sound in the jaw joint, mostly when they open or close their mouth. The pain usually is dull.

Symptoms include- neck pain, severe facial pain, aching of the jaw muscles, clenching of teeth, headaches, teeth hypersensitivity, and disrupted sleep.

Treatment- the treatment for bruxism is filling. If the decay is advanced, the treatment would be a root canal, and if it is worse, the only remedy would be tooth removal.

Dental Decay 

Bacteria is always present in a person’s mouth. Practicing good oral hygiene habits such as brushing teeth twice a day removes bacteria from the mouth. Not exhibiting good oral hygiene allows bacteria to enter the tooth, and as a result, you get tooth decay. The bacteria often coats the teeth creating a sticky substance and therefore wears away the teeth enamel.

Prevention- practicing good oral hygiene by brushing the teeth and flossing them twice a day. Regularly going for checkups by seeing a dentist tab early signs and providing proper treatment.

Sinusitis 

Also known as a sinus infection. It happens when the tissues that line the sinuses swell. The sinuses produce mucus that drains through the nasal cavity. There are four pairs of air-filled spaces that a person has in the cheekbones, forehead, and nose. When the spaces are blocked, the mucus builds up, causing infection.

Tooth pain and headaches are signs of sinusitis.

Prevention- avoid irritants that cause blockages.

Treatment of sinuses involves using pain relievers, decongestants, and saline nasal sprays.

Dental Damage

A broken tooth could cause a headache. A tooth has four dental tissues that are the enamel, dentin, and cementum. These are hard tissues. The fourth soft tissue is the pulp, which contains the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. When a tooth is cracked or chipped, it affects the nerves present in the tooth. This tooth fracture causes toothache and headache.

Prevention- always protect your enamel to avoid severe dental damage by avoiding eating tough food and drinking acidic drinks and, at the same time, brushing your teeth using a soft hackle brush and not a tough one.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

The temporomandibular joint disorder is a problem that normally occurs around the jaw joint and muscles that surround it. It causes toothaches and headaches. The pain starts around the ear towards the jaw and neck. The pain occurs because of the jaw triggered motions such as opening and closing of the mouth and chewing.

Trigeminal Neuralgia

It is a pain that occurs through the irritation of the trigeminal nerve. It causes excruciating pain on the face that acts as shock-like. It often occurs on one side. The pain of trigeminal neuralgia occurs abruptly, and it’s often a stabbing pain. Its causes involve compression of the trigeminal nerve root and inflation of the nerve. It’s mostly triggered by chewing, brushing teeth, talking, laughing, and touching the face.

Treatment of trigeminal neuralgia is an anti-seizure medicine known as Tegretol.

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you are already experiencing dental damage, seek proper medical attention by visiting the dentist. A dentist can always figure out the issue and can fix the tooth through the filling.

If you experience:

  • Pain that is not relieved by over the counter medicine clearly shows how the issue can be serious. It’s best to visit a dentist to figure out what the issue is and find a solution.
  • Severe pain after a tooth has been pulled for more than two days. This may be an indication that the tooth socket may not be healing properly.
  • Pain in the jaw’s angle and opening the mouth is painful; there is likely inflation in the temporomandibular joint. Visiting a dentist will help you figure out the problem, and the dentist will help you find a solution.
  • Pain resulting from swelling of the gums or face and fever or discharge around the tooth is a sign of an infection. It’s best to seek medical attention because swelling that is accompanied by fever can be an indication of the presence of an abscess. To heal, it will require antibiotics and drainage of the abscess.
  • Excessive pain, bleeding gums, or trouble swallowing can indicate serious dental and gum infections. Visiting the dentist will be helpful to help find the medication to treat the infection.
  • Pain caused by wisdom teeth seeks medical help. When wisdom teeth are erupting, they can cause inflation of the gums around the crown. The gum covering the crown may become infected. It may lead to swelling in the affected area and pain in the throat, making it difficult to swallow.

Medical Treatments for Toothache 

Toothaches, in some cases, require medical attention that is prescribed by the dentist. When you visit a dentist, fillings, tooth removal may take place depending on the underlying issue. If the problem is severe, a root canal may be administered.

For fever and swelling of the jaws, an antibiotic will be prescribed. The procedures take place in stages, where pain and infection are present it will be administered immediately.

How to Prevent Toothache

Preventing Headaches that occur with toothaches is possible. The American Dental Association recommended practical ways worth trying to help in preventing tooth related problems.

  • Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day. It will help eliminate food particles and get rid of the bacteria that cause plaque and gum diseases.
  • Using a mouth rinse that is low in alcohol and antimicrobial
  • Eating healthy meals and avoiding too many sugars. Bacteria is often present in refined sugars and starch. It is best to look out for what you eat, especially food that sticks between your teeth. Always brush after every meal.
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Practice flossing every day before bed.
  • Make it a habit to have your teeth cleaned by a dentist at least two times a year. It will help in preventing both tooth decay and gum diseases.

Bottom line, having appropriate dental care can help curb toothaches. Follow good dental hygiene tips such as regular brushing of teeth with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, mouth rinse, and getting teeth cleaned twice a year by the dentist, and avoiding sugary foods; if you experience headaches and have a toothache, its best to visit a dentist to find the needed solution.

Angela McCain

Angela is a senior editor at Dreniq News. She has written for many famous news agencies.

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