Do you recall experiencing a pounding headache that is unrelated to any apparent cause you could think of? And eventually found out that what’s causing the headache might just be hiding in your mouth?
It’s a common scenario – the connected occurence of headache and teeth ache. But can toothache cause headache you’ve been having? – Let’s find out!
Join us as we discover the relationship between headache and teeth ache.
What Causes Toothache?
Toothache is often the result of dental issues, including:
- Gum disease
- Exposed tooth roots
- Dental abscesses
Each of these conditions triggers pain signals that can reverberate throughout the face and head, setting the stage for a potential headache.
Can Toothache Cause Headache?
The short answer is yes, a headache from toothache is indeed a real thing. When dental pain occurs, the surrounding nerves become hypersensitive, and the brain may interpret these signals as pain in other parts of the head, resulting in a headache.
The complicated network of nerves and blood vessels in the head means that the pain signals from the teeth can radiate and manifest as headache symptoms, which is referred to as toothache causing headache.
Other Conditions That Can Cause headache and teethache
- Teeth Grinding: The habitual grinding of teeth, known as bruxism, can cause both headache and teeth aches due to increased pressure on the jaw and surrounding muscles.
- Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ): Dysfunction in the jaw joint can lead to both localized tooth pain and headaches, often felt near the temples.
- Bad Bite: Misalignment of teeth, also known as a bad bite, can create uneven pressure on the teeth, causing both headache and teeth ache.
- Tooth Decay: Progressive decay can extend into the nerve, triggering toothache and, subsequently, headaches.
- Sinus Infection: Inflamed sinuses can also lead to both upper teeth pain and headaches, as the sinuses and upper teeth share close neural pathways.
- Trigeminal Neuralgia: This chronic condition affects the trigeminal nerve, leading to intense facial pain that may be accompanied by headaches.
- Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis: A rare but serious condition, thrombosis in the cavernous sinus can cause severe headache and teeth ache.
Being able to identify the symptoms associated with a toothache is important to address the root cause effectively. Here are the toothache symptoms you might go through:
- Sharp or Throbbing Pain: The most prominent sign of a toothache is often a sharp or throbbing pain in the affected tooth. This pain can range from mild discomfort to intense, stabbing sensations.
- Sensitivity to Hot or Cold: A toothache may manifest as heightened sensitivity to temperature extremes. Felt as a jolt of discomfort through your tooth when sipping on a hot beverage or biting into an ice cream cone.
- Swelling Around the Affected Tooth: If you notice swelling around a specific tooth, it suggests that your body is actively combating a dental issue.
- Pain During Chewing: If you experience discomfort while eating, especially when biting down on a particular tooth, it could signify problems such as decay, a cracked tooth, or an issue with a previous dental work like a filling or crown.
- Painful Gums: A toothache may be accompanied by tenderness or pain in the gums surrounding the affected tooth. Being indicative of gum disease, infection or an abscess..
- Foul Taste or Odor: In some cases, a persistent bad taste or foul odor in the mouth can be linked to a toothache, suggesting the presence of infection or decay.
- Visible Changes in Tooth Color: Changes in tooth color, such as darkening or discoloration, can be indicative of underlying problems. Discoloration may be a sign of decay or damage.
Temporary Toothache Remedies
- Saltwater Rinse: A simple saltwater solution can help reduce inflammation and cleanse the affected area.
- Cold Compress: Applying a cold compress can numb the area, providing temporary relief from both headache and teeth ache.
- Ice Pack: Similar to a cold compress, an ice pack can alleviate pain and reduce swelling.
- Hydrogen Peroxide Mouth Rinse: Diluted hydrogen peroxide can act as an antiseptic, reducing bacterial load and easing discomfort.
- Pain-Relieving Gels: Over-the-counter gels containing benzocaine can provide targeted relief when applied to the affected tooth.
- Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers: Non-prescription pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help manage both headache and teeth ache.
- Clove Oil: Clove oil, with its natural analgesic properties, can be applied to the affected area for temporary relief.
- Vanilla Extract: The soothing properties of vanilla extract can be harnessed by applying a small amount to the affected tooth.
When to See a Healthcare Provider?
While temporary remedies can offer relief, it is crucial to seek professional help if the toothache persists or worsens. Consult a healthcare provider if you experience persistent pain, swelling, fever, or difficulty swallowing, as these may indicate a more serious underlying issue.
If you find yourself caught in between headache and teeth ache, Manhattan Medical Arts is here to provide comprehensive care. Our expert team is dedicated to help you discover and understand the complexities of oral health, ensuring not just relief but lasting wellness.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do my teeth hurt with a headache?
Tooth pain during a headache can be linked to shared nerve pathways. Dental issues, like decay or infection, may trigger pain signals perceived as a headache.
Why does one side of my head and teeth hurt?
One-sided head and tooth pain may stem from various causes, including dental issues (like a cavity or abscess) or neurological factors. A dentist can help identify the specific cause.
What does a toothache causing headache feel like?
A headache from toothache often involves throbbing or aching sensations around the affected tooth. The pain may radiate to the head, causing a dull or pulsating headache.
How long do dental headaches last?
The duration of dental headaches varies. It can be brief or persistent, depending on the underlying cause. Seeking professional dental care is crucial for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
How to tell if a headache is from a tooth?
If the headache is accompanied by tooth pain, sensitivity, or other dental symptoms, it could be linked to a tooth issue. A dental examination is recommended to determine the cause and provide proper treatment.
– Disclaimer –
This blog is for informational & educational purposes only, and does not intend to substitute any professional medical advice or consultation. For any health related concerns, please consult with your physician, or call 911.
About The AuthorDr. Syra Hanif M.D.
Board Certified Primary Care Physician
Dr. Syra Hanif is a board-certified Primary Care Physician (PCP) dedicated to providing compassionate, patient-centered healthcare.Read More