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6 November 2021


Have you experienced a sudden headache while suffering from a severe toothache? It usually happens that when you have teeth sensitivity or pain in a tooth, it further leads to jaw pain, earache and headache. There is a connection between your toothache and headache discussed in detail below. 


There are many causes for toothache like cavities, plaque formation, sensitive teeth, chipped enamel, infected gums, etc. When there is no proper known cause for a headache, doctors suggest you go for a dental check-up to assess your dental health. It turns out that tooth defect stems as the underlying issue for the irregular headache.  


The connection between the headache and the toothache is because of the trigeminal nerve. This is the largest sensory nerve in the brain, originating from the skull that controls facial and eye movements and sensations. This nerve provides feelings to the face, jaws, teeth, gums and the jaw joint known as Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ).  


Any pain caused in the jaws, teeth and gums that affect the branches of the trigeminal nerve, carries the signal to the brain, and you suffer from a referred pain in the head. Referred pain is the sensation of pain in a particular part of the body influenced by the actual pain in a different part of the body. Referred pain occurs due to the different nerve branches that connect the teeth and facial structures to the brain.  


Dental Causes for Headache 

1.Tooth Infection: 

Cavities in the tooth allow the passage for bacteria and harmful acids that attack the tooth root and decay it. The inner nerves of the tooth get exposed due to cavities and chipped enamel that leads to heaviness and pain in the head. It is the reason that a sudden sharp pain due to tooth sensitivity leads to earache and headache as well because of the innervation of the trigeminal nerve. 


2.Gum Infection: 

The inflammation of the gums due to plaque leads to inflammation of nerve endings that trigger pain in the brain. 


3.Dental Procedures: 

An improper dental procedure such as a dental filling, crown, or braces not done properly, lead to toothache and headache. If your tooth filling is too high, it triggers pain unless the filling gets altered by the patient’s biting and chewing process. However, patients neglect to visit the dentist and wait for the condition to be normal. The continuous pain in your teeth and head can further trigger migraine attacks and hence visit the dentist as soon as you feel something uncomfortable after a dental procedure. 


4.TMJ causing Headache 

TMJ is a small jaw joint, responsible for all the movements by the jaws, including biting, chewing, talking, yawning, etc. It is the only movable joint in the neck and head region. This tissue is very much sensitive to the bite level of the individual, and even if a slight uneven force is applied, it hurts. Most of the headaches are due to the silent symptoms of TMJ disorder. One of the major causes of TMJ disorder is Bruxism or clenching of teeth that exert uneven force on muscles and jaws.  


Most dental headaches go away after the dental issue gets rectified, however, if you do not correct your dental aches and headaches at the earliest, the continuous pain can trigger migraines. Hence it is crucial to go for the dental checkup routines where the dental health gets assessed, and dental issues are corrected at the earliest to avoid headaches. Visit our clinic, The Elite Dental Care, the best dental clinic in Tracy, California for your dental treatments and dental checkups.