Are your headaches linked with your dental problems?
If you are suffering from constant headaches for a long time and not able to find any treatment to alleviate the same, it’s probably right time to visit your dentist.
You would be surprised to know that your headache might be due to some unresolved dental or oral issues that you might be ignorant of.
Headaches have a multitude of causes ranging from migraine, tension headaches, eye-related problems,sinusitis jaw joint problems or some kind of pressing issues related to the brain. Pain in the face and jaws is commonly referred to the head because a lot of nerves in this area cross innervate and cause referred pain. It means that the source of pain may refer pain to some other location, and the patient will experience the pain at some other site not related to the cause. For example, you may experience your lower molar tooth pain in your ear on same side or caries in your upper tooth might cause pain in head or temple region.
Suffering from nagging headaches, patients consult various specialists like physicians, ENT surgeons, eye specialists, or even neurologists; still, they are not able to get relieved, or they are unable to get a proper diagnosis. Many time, the cause is inside the mouth and not in the eyes,ear or brain. Just because we commonly overlook our mouth or teeth, considering it to be the least important cause for such pains.
To find out whether your headache is due to a dental or oral cause, one can consult your dentist.
What oral problems can cause headaches?
1.Carious rotten teeth, cracked teeth, impacted wisdom tooth, or a tooth with severe infection or abscess might present as severe headache, which would not even subside by mild analgesics. Nerve endings from inside the tooth get irritated due to disease and lead to severe pain in various areas of the face and head like the temple region, a neck behind the eye, head, inside the ear, & even throat sometimes.
2.Some people have a habit of constantly biting or grinding their teeth hard during day and night as well. Constant grinding of teeth in such people with the habit of bruxism would lead to tiredness in jaw muscles and lead to muscle soreness, furthermore causing severe pain in the head and back of the neck. Teeth grinding habit might be stress induced or habitual. This tiredness of muscles further leads to soreness and pain in muscles on both sides of temple region. Besides headache, there may be a clicking sound in jaw joints on the opening and closing of the mouth along with pain in ears.
3.Sometimes, missing back teeth for a long time would lead to specific imbalances in chewing forces of jaws. Patients’ muscles get tired soon while eating with a lesser number of teeth. It leads to the soreness of the jaw joint leading to headaches on one side only. If left like this for longer time, this may lead to pain on other side also.
What to expect in a treatment?
1.Proper examination and diagnosis are essential for a patient with a severe headache, which is not responding to any medicines. X-rays might be required to find the culprit tooth, if any.
2.As per the case, the Extraction of the rotten tooth or root canal treatment may have to be initiated.
3.In the case of TMD or jaw joint involvement, you might be advised by the doctor to take medicines and physiotherapy for jaw muscles. Some patients have benefited from night guards to a great extent..
4. Bite correction and replacement of missing teeth done by the doctor to prevent uneven loads on the joints can also improve the overall musculature and masticatory system of the patient.