What is the Connection between Toothaches and Headaches?


One of the most painful scenarios in a person’s life can be when they have headaches. Coupling it up with toothaches can be frustrating. Everyone gets headaches from time-to-time. However, there is no getting used to it as the feeling can be annoying and frustrating. People tend to take a lot of water and aspire, and if it does not work, a nap or sleeping can help. However, these approaches are usually made to stop headaches on their own. However, if the headache is from a toothache, then the treatment option can only be periodical or not work at all.

It has been of knowledge that toothaches can lead to headaches. The toothache could be mild and the headache chronic, and vice versa. The pain could also be in equal magnitude for both parts. All in all, the main problem must be found so that proper treatment can be done. Headaches and toothaches can be frustrating and take a lot of toll on the affected person.

Oral Nerves are Close to Nerves Related to Headaches

One of the things that explain the connection between toothaches and headaches is the nerve system. The tooth and the head are close to each other structurally if they are not considered part of one entity. The trigeminal nerve’s proximity makes the pain in the tooth and the head be connected or seem to be connected. At times, the headache is usually a toothache that seems to be a headache. In such cases, it can be mild, and the person may try to do the treatment on their own, thinking it is a one-time thing.

Several conditions usually link toothaches and headaches. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ), otherwise known as TMD, is one of the main links between headaches and toothaches. TMJ can cause a lot of myofascial pain that will be felt as a headache. If not treated, the headaches will be chronic and can cause a lot of pain to a person. However, the main source of the pain is the Temporomandibular joint, which is relaying fascial pain and headaches through the nerves which are in close proximity. Knowing that a tooth problem causes a headache can be pivotal.

Headaches as a Sign of a Bad Tooth

One of the things that people find tough to differentiate is headaches and toothaches. As aforementioned, a person may think that they have a bad headache, only to learn later that it is a bad tooth. Problems such as a bad molar can cause a lot of headaches to a person. It is not easy to self-diagnose, and when the symptoms persist, it is vital to get medical attention. A TMJ specialist or a doctor can help determine whether a tooth is the root of the problem. From there, visiting a dentist will help in treatment. Some people will easily realize that it is their tooth problems that are leading to headaches. In such cases, one should seek dental care immediately.

It is also vital to know the signs and symptoms of a bad tooth, which will help determine whether it is the main cause of the headache. This is one of the best ways to establish the connection between toothaches and headaches in oneself. They include:

  • Tooth sensitivity – a sensitive tooth or teeth can mean that there is a problem. There is usually some unbearable sensation or tenderness when taking something cold, hot, or sweet, popularly known as a sweet tooth.
  • Toothache appears before the headache – If a person’s toothache comes before the headache, it means that the toothache is the main cause of the headache.
  • Swelling – Swelling on the jaws or in the surrounding structures is a sign of bad teeth. When swelling happens, there is usually some pain which will translate to headaches.
  • Jaw pains – Jaw pains are common causes of headaches. Jaw pains are usually a cause of bad teeth. It could be a physical injury or a rotten tooth.
  • Bad breath – If a person’s breath has a foul smell even after brushing teeth or taking a mouthwash, there could be a problem.

Treatment Options

One way to get rid of the connection between toothaches and headaches is by getting attention from a dentist. There are several dental problems, and only a dentist will be able to get the best diagnosis and treatment plan for the person. It may include dental implants, fillings, or removal of bad teeth that may be causing the headaches. Medication can also be given to the patient so that the headaches subside until the tooth is completely healed and won’t lead to more problems.

Another way that a person can get treated is by going to a TMJ specialist. TMJ specialists are usually able to get to the bottom of the problem. They link the myofascial pain and try to get the main cause for a person’s headaches. Most TMJ specialists are also proficient in dental treatments and will help with the pain as well. Whenever a person feels like they have to have jaw and toothaches that lead to headaches, they can visit a TMJ doctor who will be able to get rid of the problem.

Avoiding Teeth Problem to Avoid Headaches

One of the best ways to get rid of both toothaches and headaches is by having good dental hygiene. Proper dental hygiene can help prevent all forms of toothaches, helping a person not get headaches. Unless it is from physical trauma, brushing teeth at least twice a day and visiting the dentist regularly should do the trick.

Effects of Headaches and Toothache

Headaches and toothaches have adverse effects on the affected party. They cause physical pain, leading to problems in sleeping, eating, chewing, breathing and even talking. These problems can also lead to mental problems such as anxiety and depression due to the lack of quality and quantity in sleeping. It is vital to get treatment as soon as possible or prevent it from happening altogether.

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