Having tooth pain is already an irritating and uncomfortable experience for anyone, but can you imagine getting a headache at the same time that your tooth hurts? What a hassle, right? Some even associate these two discomforts as related. But is it true? Can a simple toothache cause headache, and can it be vice versa? An expert dentist at Sandstone Point explains and gives us an idea of what can really cause these two common symptoms.
Can toothache cause headache?
Well, yes. It is most possible especially if the cause of the toothache is left unattended or unaddressed. There are many causes of tooth pain. It may be because of tooth decay, tooth fracture, impacted wisdom teeth, and many more. If any of these causes are not determined by the dentist, the symptoms of pain and discomfort may develop a headache, particularly tension headache or migraine. This is the reason why many think once you have a toothache, a throbbing headache would follow.
Toothaches not only have the reputation of triggering or stimulating the start of a headache, but it can also refer or spread the pain to the head. This means that the pain that should solely be felt in one part of the body ‘travels’ to a separate area; in this case, the toothache travels to the head to cause the migraine.
Other reasons how a toothache can cause headache
Can a toothache cause headache? We have mentioned earlier that, yes, it can. However, there are other medical conditions that can happen to the body that would cause both discomforts. It is not necessarily due to a dental condition, but a medically-related issue.
Sinusitis, or inflammation of the sinuses due to an allergy or infection, can be a common cause of getting a toothache and headache at the same time. When the drainage sites for the sinuses found along the areas of the nose and forehead become blocked, they fill up with mucus, making you feel pressure and tenderness along these parts of the face. The presence of toothache and migraine may be symptoms of this condition, along with fever, nasal congestion, and muscle weakness.
Temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD
A problem within the jaw joint that is positioned in front of your ear and the muscles surrounding it is the brief description dentists and doctors have for TMD. Have you felt a locking sensation every time you open your mouth wide or feel that your jaw is a bit tense, or you experience ear pain that does not seem to be related to an ear infection? These are symptoms of TMD. Most patients who complain and are diagnosed to have this jaw problem also show symptoms of toothache and headache from time to time.
Bruxism or teeth grinding
This problem may be a conscious or unconscious dental issue that you have usually while sleeping. Kids who developed this bad habit may be exposed to tense situations or are feeling frustrated most of the time, but most of them outgrow this as time passes. Bruxism can also be caused by stress, misaligned teeth or nerve, and muscle diseases in the face. Symptoms can include morning headaches, grinding sounds at night, tight jaw muscles, and cracked or damaged teeth. If you display any of these symptoms, seek out your dentist for a proper diagnosis.