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The Dental Connection

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 12 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Mouth Oral Dentist Neuromuscular Pain

Although lifestyle factors such as diet smoking, occupation and stress can be major causes of headaches, mouth-related diseases and structural problems can also contribute. Individuals who possess badly aligned bites or have had teeth removed may have a variety of associated health problems, including headaches and migraines. Some of the symptoms that may indicate your headaches are indeed related to your teeth and gums are:

  • Eye, neck, shoulder or back pain
  • Aching jaw muscles
  • Tooth grinding
  • Clicking facial joints
  • Tender head
  • Pain or ringing in ears
  • Dizziness
  • Pain behind or around the eyes

Orofacial Pain

Orofacial pain is a term used to describe virtually any pain occurring either in or around the face. The pain may be felt in the sinuses, eye or ear area, cheeks or even the side of the head. You may notice an uncomfortable clicking during movement of the jaw as well. Various conditions may prompt orofacial pain, including nerve diseases, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder as well as muscle contractions and tension caused by stress and anxiety. Rarely, tumors and other serious illnesses may cause orofacial pain.

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth can contribute to headaches. If a wisdom tooth is impacted or somewhat erupted, swelling can occur and gum tissues may be infected. The swollen gums and teeth can leave an individual with a badly aligned bite, which may then cause pain in the jaw area. Inflammation and additional pain in the jaw joints and muscles leaves a person with what is called a wisdom tooth headache. If left untreated, pus may form and further inflame jaw muscles.

Teeth Grinding and Headaches

If you find that you awaken with headaches and jaw pain that slowly ease as the day progresses, it is possible that you grind your teeth while sleeping. The repetitive clenching and grinding of teeth while sleeping may cause intense headaches that are particularly pronounced in the morning and may also result in pressure or wear on surrounding joints and muscles around the jaw, as well as damaging your teeth. A special fitted guard for your teeth can be worn at night to prevent the damage that results from teeth grinding.

Tension Headaches and Your Jaw

Tension headaches are very common and are related to tense contracted muscles. They can be quite painful and may occur from tensed jaw muscles that are triggered by dental problems. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may have an oral condition that is triggering the headache:

  • Teeth grinding
  • Pain that occurs when biting
  • Popping of the jaw joints
  • Aching and sore jaw

Neuromuscular Dentistry

Neuromuscular dentistry is a newer phrase used to describe a more extended and modern approach to dentistry. Rather than just focusing on the teeth and mouth directly, neuromuscular dentistry examines the jaw and neck muscles and their relationship to the mouth and teeth. By addressing muscles and any tension that may occur in the jaw from poor bites or infections of the gums and mouth, a neuromuscular dentist can address headaches that may occur from muscle tension. If you check your local telephone book, you should be able to find dentists in your area who specialise in this more advanced form of dentistry.

Your headaches may be occurring from any number of causes but if you do find you are experiencing any jaw or oral discomfort alongside headaches, it is very possible that your headaches are dental related. Usually, over-the-counter remedies such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen will be suggested to handle immediate pain, while your dentist addresses the root cause of your headaches. Visit your dentist and talk to him or her about your symptoms. You will likely receive a thorough examination and if your headaches are indeed related to your dental status, addressing the cause may even eliminate your headaches completely. Surely, that is something to smile about.

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I experience all these problems, I think the context is explained very well. Thank you for helping me.
Nam - 30-May-11 @ 11:17 PM
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Latest Comments
  • Ugg
    Re: Headaches After Head Injuries
    @Coop - I'm not surprised. It may take a few days. Go to the docs if you feel it's unbearable.
    15 January 2018
  • Coop
    Re: Headaches After Head Injuries
    Played footy this morning and took football into the face and can not shift this heaface i taken asprin but not calimef it down…
    14 January 2018
  • Yoli
    Re: Headaches During The Night
    Every time my husband drinks water at night he wakes up with the headache is that normal?
    13 January 2018
  • mumof3
    Re: Headaches After Head Injuries
    @Tbear & @Stevo - both of you should get yourselves seen to if you are in any way concerned. More so Tbear if you feel sick too.…
    5 January 2018
  • Stevo
    Re: Headaches After Head Injuries
    I banged my head three weeks ago resulting in having 8 stitches and my head still hurts is this normal
    2 January 2018
  • Tbear
    Re: Headaches After Head Injuries
    About a month ago, while I was at work I fell from a 10 foot ladder. I was taken to the hospital and had a the tests and xrays…
    1 January 2018
  • Lisa
    Re: Headaches After Head Injuries
    I got punched in the face a few days ago, and now ive been getting headaches. What does this mean?
    27 December 2017
  • Moe
    Re: Scalp Pain: What Causes It?
    Hair does not grow properly short in some spots long in other pain in the middle of scalp scratching can't take it no more
    24 December 2017
  • Joeboy
    Re: Flicker Illness
    This is very interesting I do know of someone whom has all the symptoms mentioned it will be some comfort for her to know she is not alone and her…
    24 December 2017
  • Hurting
    Re: Headaches After Head Injuries
    Hit my face into car door almost took my eye out now I have pain all around my eyes
    19 December 2017
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