How Your Tooth Ache & Headache Are Related (2024 Health Guide)

BY Dr. McDowell  |  November 15th, 2023
Dr. McDowell
Dr. McDowell has always been focused on using the latest technology to improve the patient experience. From radiation-free imaging to laser dentistry, he has always been ahead of the curve and is dedicated to improving the practice of dentistry one ..

There’s nothing quite as debilitating as a toothache or a headache. Both conditions can disrupt your daily life, making it challenging to focus on anything else. What’s interesting is that these two seemingly unrelated pains can sometimes be interlinked, leaving you in double agony.

In this blog post, we will delve into:

Keep reading to get the answers to your pain problem!

Common Reasons for a Toothache 🦷

woman sitting at the couch with tooth ache

Toothaches can range from mild discomfort to excruciating pain, and their causes are diverse. Understanding the root of your toothache is essential to finding the right treatment. Here are some common reasons for toothaches:

Common Reasons for a Headache 🤕

Headaches can be equally distressing and, like toothaches, can have various underlying causes. Identifying the type of headache you’re experiencing is crucial for effective treatment. Here are some common reasons for headaches:

Why Toothaches and Headaches Are Sometimes Related

Toothaches and headaches may seem unrelated at first, but there are several ways in which they can be connected:

Referred Pain

One common reason for the relationship between toothaches and headaches is referred pain. When you have a dental issue, such as a tooth infection or an abscess, the pain signals can travel to nearby nerves and create discomfort in the head, leading to a headache.

Muscular Tension

Dental pain, particularly toothaches caused by clenching or grinding, can lead to muscle tension in the jaw and neck. This tension can radiate upward and contribute to the development of tension headaches.

Sinus Involvement

Dental problems in the upper jaw can sometimes affect the sinus cavities, leading to sinus congestion and pain. This, in turn, can trigger sinus headaches.

Shared Nerve Pathways

Some nerves that supply sensation to the teeth and surrounding structures also connect to the head and face. When there’s irritation or inflammation in the dental area, it can affect these shared nerve pathways and result in headache-like pain.

4 Potential Problems

When you experience both a toothache and a headache, it’s essential to consider the underlying issue and seek appropriate treatment. Here are some potential problems that may be causing your dual discomfort:

1) Dental Infection

An untreated dental infection, such as a dental abscess or gum infection, can lead to both localized tooth pain and referred headache-like pain. These infections require prompt attention to prevent further complications.

2) Bruxism

Teeth grinding or clenching, known as bruxism, can cause toothaches and jaw pain. This muscle tension can extend to the head and result in headaches.

3) TMJ Disorders

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders affect the jaw joints and can lead to a variety of symptoms, including toothaches, jaw pain, and headaches.

4) Sinusitis

If you have a sinus infection or sinusitis, it can cause sinus headaches and may also lead to dental discomfort due to the proximity of the upper teeth to the sinus cavities.

How to Find a Reputable Dental Professional to Help

patient and dentist at clinic

If you’re experiencing the misery of both a toothache and a headache, it’s crucial to seek help from a reputable dental professional who can diagnose and address the underlying issues. Here are some steps to find the right dental care provider:

Work With a Top Dentist

Toothaches and headaches can be challenging to endure individually, but when they occur simultaneously, they can be doubly distressing. If you find yourself grappling with both types of pain, don’t hesitate to seek help from a reputable dental professional who can diagnose and address the underlying issues. Remember that early intervention is key to preventing further complications and restoring your comfort and well-being.

At Wayzata Dental, we’re proud to be the #1 dentistry provider in the area. Contact us today to set up your consultation and get your pain under control. 

Dr. McDowell
Dr. McDowell has always been focused on using the latest technology to improve the patient experience. From radiation-free imaging to laser dentistry, he has always been ahead of the curve and is dedicated to improving the practice of dentistry one ..